Big, burly Claude Boivin liked nothing better than getting his nose in the middle of skirmishes anywhere on the ice. And if it led to dropping the gloves with an opponent, that seemed just fine as well. Boivin had a reputation for being a tough customer entering major junior hockey when he joined Drummondville of the QMJHL in the fall of 1987. While he did rack up 233 minutes in penalties he was also very productive offensively for the Voltigeurs scoring 23 goals and 49 points in 63 games. The team advanced to the Memorial Cup but was beaten in all three of their round-robin games. After a second season with Drummondville, Boivin was sent to Laval where he played for the Titan, surpassing the 300-minute mark in penalties. The club advanced to the Memorial Cup but was ousted in the semifinals in Hamilton by the Kitchener Rangers who then lost in the finals to Eric Lindros and the Oshawa Generals in the championship final.
It was that first year with Drummondville that caught the attention of NHL scouts who felt Boivin had an excellent combination of grit, tenacity and scoring ability. He was selected in the first round 14th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. In his first year as a pro in the fall of 1990 Boivin was sent to Philadelphia's farm team in Hershey where he played the entire season. He got his chance to play in the NHL the following season and in 59 games with the Flyers, tallied 13 points and 187 penalty minutes.
Over the next two years Boivin was used sparingly by the Flyers, dividing his time between Philadelphia and Hershey. While he certainly added an element of toughness to the club, they had hoped he would contribute more offensively. Lingering knee problems also slowed him down to the point where his effectiveness had greatly been cut down.
In March, 1994 Boivin was traded to the Ottawa Senators having come off a lengthy rehabilitation process following knee surgery. Unfortunately the problem persisted and Boivin wound up missing the entire 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons recovering. Although he played hockey again, it was never at the elite NHL level.
Boivin moved to Europe and played two years in Italy before returning to North America where he signed a deal with the Long Beach Ice Dogs of the IHL. Despite being just 30, Boivin decided to hang up the skates following the 1999-00 campaign with his knee continuing to give him problems on the ice.