With lights and siren it was a 12-minute ride down to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti. Andrew arrived there Friday night around 8:30. Mabey got there around 11:30 and spent the night. When Mabey arrived, Andrew's parents had been called and told what to expect, and Andrew had been stitched and scanned and tested and was out of immediate danger.
Jesse left the arena, perhaps on the advice of the Whalers' staff, and went back to his billet. He changed clothes and met up with his teammates a few hours later for what had become a somber season-ending party. (Plymouth had lost the game and was done for the year.) Jesse was still upset. According to Robert Esche, a Whalers goalie and Jesse's best friend, "He felt really bad about it. It's not like he planned it or anything."
Andrew's parents arrived the next morning, and Jesse was still asking his coach if he could go to the hospital to apologize to Andrew. He was told not to, that the Longs were too upset. He called Andrew instead. That didn't go well. Neither of them remembers exactly what was said, but it wasn't enough.
By Sunday the 19th, Andrew was ready to be released. His performance on the neurological observation flow sheets and Glasgow Coma Scale tests was nearly normal, and CAT scans revealed that the bruising to his brain had stabilized. He was told not to play any contact sports for three months and to have his own doctors monitor his condition. His parents took him home to Canada, where he spent a lot of time on the couch watching TV and eating pasta one strand at a time. The long-term prognosis was good.
Andrew visited his teammates a few times as they made their postseason run at the championship. He cracked some jokes in the locker room, led stretching exercises and saw how his mates all touched his jersey, which hung by the door, for inspiration on their way out to the ice. While watching them play, however, Andrew got very worried. "The game was so fast, so confusing, I couldn't really follow it," he says. "It didn't seem like I'd ever played it."
There is a newspaper photo from an appearance Andrew made in Guelph about a week after he was hit. The crowd has just given him a standing ovation. He is smiling as best he can, but the face in the picture looks like a pillowcase full of doorknobs.
On May 6, 1998, the OHL, saying that Jesse Boulerice had "used his stick in a most alarming and unacceptable fashion," suspended him for one year. It meant that he could not return to the league, which he was unlikely to do in any case, since he would move up to the American Hockey League at the start of the following season. It was the most the OHL could do under the circumstances. The OHL has refused further comment on the decision.
On May 17 the Guelph Storm lost in the 80th Annual Memorial Cup Tournament to the Portland Winter Hawks, 4-3 in overtime. According to former Storm coach George Burnett, Andrew, one of the team's leading scorers and playmakers, might have made the difference.
That same week AHL president, CEO and treasurer David Andrews ruled that Jesse would be suspended for the first month of the AHL season. Though the AHL and OHL are not affiliated, Andrews has been severely criticized for not honoring the junior league's one-year penalty. The assault "didn't happen in our league," Andrews has said, adding that there was a potential civil liability if his league interfered with Jesse's right to earn a living. "Under the circumstances, I'm comfortable with the decision." The AHL is the primary minor league for the NHL. The NHL has never formally commented on the Boulerice-Long matter.
During the last week of May, David Long called the Plymouth Township police department for instructions on how to file a criminal complaint. On June 4 Andrew Long filed a formal assault complaint against Jesse Boulerice. On July 6 a warrant for Jesse's arrest was issued by the Wayne County Prosecutors Office. On July 14 Jesse, accompanied by his parents, surrendered himself to Plymouth Township police. He was fingerprinted, and his mug shot was taken. Later that afternoon he was arraigned in 35th District Court and released on a $10,000 personal bond.