Montreal cops investigating hockey hit
Montreal's Max Pacioretty lies on the ice after a hit from Boston's Zdeno Chara Tuesday night.
March 10th, 2011
12:43 PM ET

Montreal cops investigating hockey hit

Police in Montreal said Thursday they will investigate a hit in Tuesday night's National Hockey League game as a possible crime, Canadian media report.

The hit by Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara on the Montreal Canadiens' Max Pacioretty left Pacioretty with a severe concussion and a fractured vertebra, according to a CTV report.

Chara was given two penalties on the play and ejected from the game. On Wednesday, the NHL said the penalties assessed on the ice were appropriate and it would take no further action.

But Quebec's top prosecutor, Louis Dionne, asked for the police investigation after watching video of the play, the CBC reported.

In the play, Pacioretty skates with the puck in front of the bench area of Montreal's Bell Centre as Chara comes alongside and tries to push Pacioretty into the boards along the benches. Pacioretty's head slams violently into a glass stanchion separating the two benches. Pacioretty was face-down on the ice for several minutes.

NHL Senior Vice President Mike Murphy called the hit "a hockey play that resulted in an injury because of the player colliding with the stanchion and then the ice surface," CTV reported.

Chara said Wednesday he did not try to harm Pacioretty.

“Obviously I feel bad about what happened. I was trying to make a strong hockey play and play hard. It was just very, very unfortunate that the player got hurt and had to leave the game,” the Boston Herald quoted him as saying.

"It was just one of those things. These things, like glass extensions, doors, even hockey nets, are part of the game. Obviously, players run into them. It’s just very, very unfortunate that a player got hurt,” he said.

The NHL's decision not to further discipline Chara didn't sit well with Canadiens fans. Their calls flooded a police emergency call center in Montreal after the league's announcement Wednesday asking police to take action, the CBC reported.

Pacioretty was also upset with the league.

"I am upset and disgusted that the league didn't think enough of [the hit] to suspend him," he told Bob McKenzie of TSN.com. "I'm not mad for myself, I'm mad because if other players see a hit like that and think it's OK, they won't be suspended, then other players will get hurt like I got hurt."

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Filed under: Boston • Canada • Hockey • Montreal • NHL • Sports
soundoff (544 Responses)
  1. No crime here

    Sorry but have to agree no crime here. Doesn;t matter if there's history there has to be an intent to injure and it's just not here.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mee

    Chara is a goon. BUt, he's also a clumsy oaf. I doubt he could have done that on purpose if he tried. That said, I agree he should be suspended. At the very least it showed disregard for player safety.

    Habs fans should also call out their players. Chara should have been swarmed after that cheapshot. That's one that needed some more one-ice response. I know he's big, but at some point you have to say enough is enough, punch him in the ugly snout and defend your teammate.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kevin

    a black NHL player! they are few and far between, and almost always Canadian.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dan milburn

    Look at the video. It was a perfectly legal hit. It just so happened that it occurred where there was a break in the barrier. He actually caught his face and neck on the wall. The player was merely pushed to the outside. The injuries occurred because he hit the wall.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. norm

    Ok, here is the layout of the incident...

    1. Pacioretti shoves Chara after scoring a goal in Montreal where Chara was defending the net with the goalie.

    2. Chara targetted Pacioretti in the next game during a fight in Boston. Chara still was humiliated from last game

    3. Bruins coach advised his players to target or neutralize Pacioretti and Suban...Chara and Boychuck responds.

    4. Boydchuck tries to injure Subban, White fights Boydchuck.

    5. Chara INTENTIONALLY shoves Pacioretti in the stanchion...responding to the coach instructions.

    6. Pacioretti falls on the ice with concussion, broken neck...He is now permanently neutralized as per coach advice.

    7. Chara payback occurs and now HE HAS SATISFIED HIS COACH REQUEST AND HIS HUMILIATION.

    8. CHARA MUST BE PROSECUTED BECAUSE OF AN INTENTIONAL HIT . PERIOD.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Andrew

    what a stupid game !!!!

    March 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Fenwick Macmillan

    If charges are filed, I hope the NHL forces the Habs to play their remaining games (all of them) on the road. If they don't I hope there is retribution for their players on the ice.

    March 10, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mike

    L M A O. It's hocky HELLO some of the past hits I've seen by them on boston are pretty grimmy too ,should we cry to the Boston police for an arrest next time they cone back to Boston and get rough hey we can call it bullying !!!

    March 10, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ian

    WOW. I knew Habs fans were a bunch of pansies, but this takes the cake. If you girls don't like the hits, maybe you should take up figure skating. In this day and age, where the NHL is looking at hits to the heads and other severe infractions, AND they choose not to follow up with additional measures, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe its not a big of a deal as you think it is. Kind of like Bertuzzi on Moore? I can think of worse hits out there than this. It was unfortunate that it happened, but really? Call the cops? Somebody call the waaaaaaaaaaaaahbulence.

    March 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. James

    You take a sport where people are flying around on big old sharp blades, carrying club like sticks, hurling into each other and fist fights are an exciting event within the game and....gee.. Never would expect someone to get hurt with those conditions. Thank god you Canuckleheads decided bring in the police.. Brilliant!

    March 10, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Fr33th1nk3r

    Well, nice to see that the more "sensitive" segment of society isn't only focusing their attention on ruining football– they are equal opportunity crybabies, content to ruin any contact sports they themselves are too frail to play in any country. Here's a clue– the athletes know what is at stake and what the odds are when they sign those multi-million-dollar contracts. A hockey/football player has no more right to complain about crushing hits, than a soldier in the Army should complain about having to run or excercise or a surgeon should complain about seeing blood. Comes with the territory....

    March 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RobbieCanuck

    This hit was a clean hit.

    In Canada in order for there to be a criminal assault the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the assault ocurred "without the consent of the other person." I suspect it is the same in every US state.

    When you watch the video tape of this "alleged assault" it could not be proven that Pacioretty did not consent to being body checked by Chara. NHL players accept that clean body-checks are an inherernt part of the sport and as a result of one they might get seriously injured.

    Furthermore after the clean check, Pacioretty was violently wrenched 180 degrees backward by the combination of striking the boards/plexi-glass/metal stanchion at that particular location of the boards. He then crashed to the ice. This is what caused his injuries and not the check per se.

    To have the polce investigate this incident is ridiculous. What would make more sense is for the Worker's Compensation Board of Quebec investigate the dangerous portion of the boards where Pacioretty struck them. The NHLPA should advise Pacioretty to go see a personal injury lawyer to sue his employer the Montreal Canadians and the owner of the Air Canada Centre for negligence.

    March 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Luke

    I didn't know US territories that aren't yet states are allowed to have their own courts...........

    March 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JSH

    The war between Quebec and New England continues since the 1600s.
    I hope Max recovers, and both teams should just focus on winning the cup.
    Its hockey, and personally being a HABS fan and NHL fan I would rather see charges pressed on Avery than Chara

    March 10, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Charles Mehner

    I for one do not belive that any criminal charges should come of this. Yes the hit was hard and, unfortunetly it resulted in a player getting injured. The play did not look dirty. To me it was a good solid hit that was worsened by the location. Instead of calling the police on a hit like that, why not invest more time and effort into making the game safer. By no means was this a Todd Bertuzzi hit. Shameless and calculated. Hockey is a contact sport and injuries are a part of the game. It is the fastest sport played by man so reaction time is so slim things are bound to happen. Further more if we are to call the police on every hit this game will eventually get band purely for it just being annoying.

    March 10, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
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