In the days of yore, when Carolina was awful, Jesse was a good guy to have around because he likes to mix it up. He never had much offensive upside, and they pretty much used him exclusively as an enforcer.
I was happy to see him go because the "new" NHL has no place for enforcers. That, and I thought that his very limited skills had in fact atrophied. He only played a few games with the Blues before being cut outright. The word on the street is that he couldn't get along with the guys in the room. Some accounts suggest that he physically fought with his new teammates during practice. I'm guessing that it all got started over a disagreement about his favorite movie -- The Garfield Christmas Movie.
I haven't talked to the Acid Queen yet, and she hasn't posted yet, but I'm sure she's livid.
The only good thing is that this is a two-way contract. He'll be playing in Albany. Peter Karmanos had the following overly kind words:
"Jesse has been working hard to prepare himself for the upcoming season. We know what he is capable of, and he understands his role in our organization."
I hope that by "he understands his role", Karmanos means "His role will be to protect our investments who are down in the minors. If there is a really bad rash of injuries, and he ends up in Raleigh, his role will be to stay out of everyone's way."
Credit where credit is due, though. On October 24, 2005 the Canes were hosting the undefeated Ottawa Senators. The Sens had jumped out to a very early 2-0 lead, and the Canes looked flat. Boulerice fought Brian McGratton for no reason other than to spark the team and the crowd. It worked. The Canes rallied for a win, and they moved into first place in the SE division that night. They would never look back.
Other than that, Jesse is, frankly, a terrible player by NHL standards.
Here's my favorite Jesse Boulerice moment, from back in 2003, when he got simply destroyed by Aaron Downey of the Dallas Stars.
"Down goes Boulerice". I don't care who you are. That's funny.