Ed Moran | Jones' hit not same as Boulerice's or Downie's

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Sales of Danny Briere-signed caps benefit kids with cancer.

TEN GAMES into the

season and the Flyers are facing a third player suspension.

The first two - 20 games to Steve Downie for leaving his feet and leveling Ottawa's Dean McAmmond, and 25 games to Jesse Boulerice for crosschecking Vancouver's Ryan Kesler in the face - were blatant, clear-cut incidents that warranted the time the players were handed.

This one is different.

While Randy Jones' hit from behind on Boston's Patrice Bergeron during the first period of the Flyers' 2-1 win over the Bruins on Saturday afternoon ended up being dangerous, there is no way Jones intended to hurt the talented forward.

Jones should have pulled up when he connected with Ber-geron behind the Flyers' net, but in considering the length of the suspension, the NHL also should look closely at the film. It will show that Bergeron was bending over and had stopped just before he was hit, which contributed to the distance he was from the boards and the angle at which he was driven into the stanchion that holds the arena glass in place.

Jones' intention was to defend a play behind the net. The result was scary and regrettable, but it was not a dirty, intentional hit to injure. Jones simply isn't a dirty player. In 66 games last year, the defenseman had only 38 penalty minutes, all of them from minor infractions. After the game, Jones was shaken and scared for Bergeron, who was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher and hospitalized with a concussion and a broken nose. It could have been worse.

"Words really can't express the way that I feel right now," Jones said in a statement released by the team during the game. "I am very apologetic for the hit and what I did. It was not intentional. It is something that

I have never done before and it is not part of my character. I am extremely sorry."

Later, after learning that

Bergeron did not suffer a spinal injury, Jones said:

"I am definitely relieved. I was pretty shaken up and was extremely concerned about him. As the game went on I really couldn't focus on it. My mind and heart was totally with him. Thankfully nothing was life-threatening, but hopefully

everything is going to work out for him."

Yesterday, as the Flyers regrouped at home before taking a day off today and then preparing to continue their road trip in Montreal on Thursday, coach John Stevens said the three

incidents do not mean that the Flyers are looking for a reputation as a dirty team, as suggested by Bruins coach Claude Julien.

"Certainly this play is totally different than the other two," Stevens said. "I don't think I can make any parallels between the two. We've openly stated that those things can't happen. Especially leaving your feet to make a hit and using your stick as a weapon.

"I've had Randy Jones for a long time and he's as honest a player as they come. There's a lot of integrity in his game. There's no other thoughts [on Jones' part], other than to defend the play," he said.

 

'Briere Bunch'

The hat thing started with the idea that he could help raise about $15,000 to help support an organization called Camp Good Days. He was already a spokesman for the group that works to help ease the pain and hardship that cancer brought to children.

The hat thing started with the idea that he could help raise about $15,000 to help support an organization called Camp Good Days. He was already a spokesman for the group that works to help ease the pain and hardship that cancer brought to children.

So, when Danny Briere was approached about selling about 500 personally signed "Briere Bunch'' hats, he didn't figure on what actually happened.

"The response was better than expected," Briere said. "We just kept going and going and we sold thousands of hats."

That was last season, when the Flyers' star center was with the Buffalo Sabres. Not one to let something that works slip, Briere has carried the campaign and the efforts of his organization of fans and supporters - The Briere Bunch - with him to Philadelphia and is going to expand his network of benefactors to the Philadelphia-South Jersey area.

So, in addition to centering the renewed Flyers and moving his family and life to New Jersey, Briere is back in the hat business.

"We started it last year in Buffalo but it worked so well and the response was so good we decided to keep going all year and to maybe make enough to help out still in the Western New York

area and start something in the Philly and New Jersey area."

The hats are available on

The Briere Bunch Web site (www.brierebunch.com), and for $30 Briere will sign your hat and have it sent to you.

He really doesn't mind the signing part, despite how long it takes.

"I have a good helper at home who takes them out and lines them up and boxes them for me," he said of his wife, Sylvie. "It will go in bunches. I'll go a few days in a row where I'll sign boxes and boxes and then I'll take a few weeks off.

"Our last shipment was sent back to the guys in Buffalo and people just have to go on the Web site or call in and they'll

receive their hats."

By the way, Briere estimates he's done about 13 boxes since moving. He's not sure if it's 400 or 500 a box, but at $30 a hat, that's a good piece of change.

 

Gagne still dizzy

Simon Gagne did not practice yesterday and is scheduled to be re-examined today. The Flyers have stayed away from saying Gagne suffered a concussion when he was hit in Florida last week and have maintained that position despite the left winger failing a baseline test that is standard to diagnosing a head injury and missing the last two games. *

did not practice yesterday and is scheduled to be re-examined today. The Flyers have stayed away from saying Gagne suffered a concussion when he was hit in Florida last week and have maintained that position despite the left winger failing a baseline test that is standard to diagnosing a head injury and missing the last two games. *

Send e-mail to morane@phillynews.com