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. Schniggy VonFlugen

    Come on. Learn something about the game.
    Because of the speed involved, NO GAME is like hockey. I'm skating 20mph, you're skating 20mph....it becomes a 40mph collision.
    Fighting is allowed for a simple reason: to provide a means of protecting the smaller/skilled players from being hurt by a legal hit. If you're going to remove the fighting, then you have to come up with a way to protect the smaller players. How? Make checking illegal? Then it's not hockey anymore. This is one of the oldest sports on the planet. 130+ years and counting.
    Watch the replay. As a hockey player from the birthplace of hockey and from many generations of hockey players, I can tell you there was no intent to harm. The issue is with the stanchions.
    If a football field had these we would see the same thing there. Would we then think removing the hitting from football is the thing to do?

    March 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • cndh

      They should take a book out of NASCAR and look into something similar to the Safer Barrier now in use on most if not all tracks. They have proven to be very effective.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • steeve-o

      Your 20 + 20 = 40 collision equation only works in a head on collision. These guys were skating side by side. The force the Canadien player took against the barrier came from the speed he was traveling, paired with the velocity of the hit made by the Bruin player. It just happened in the worst possible place.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      @Steeve-O: Your 20 + 20 = 40 doesn't work with a head on collision either. If two things the same mass and the same speed hit each other dead on, they will both stop immediately. Same as if they had hit a bridge abutment, or a glass stanchion. So in physics 20 one way plus 20 the other way is 0, not 40. I love the Habs and I never liked Chara, but I don't think he meant to do this.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Actually, if a skater going 20 mph hits a brick wall, he goes from 20 to 0 instantly. If two players hit each other head on, they each go from 20 to 0 instantly. You don't add the two speeds together.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bill

    It was an accident. You Canadien fans get more pathetic each day whith constant crying.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      An "accident"? LOL! You must be a Bruins or Maple Laffs fan. Typical stupidness.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JL

    If the situation were in reverse, everyone in that building would still be cheering the hit. Canadiens fans are the biggest babies in all of sports. I used to like the energy in the place, but if you notice anytime someone hits their guy the whole place boos for like 5 minutes and if they thought there should have been a penalty they boo for 5 minutes. Basically anytime something bad happens to their team they get their panties in a bundle. WORST FANS EVER!

    March 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Get over it

      I am so sorry that as fans we encourage our athletes .... talk about being a cry baby

      March 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Murpheus

      Quit going there then dummy.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. beantownie

    it's a make up call for Savard being out for months with no suspension on Cooke. That was far more deliberate than the one Chara just made

    March 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. hazy

    OMG – its hockey and the HIT was clean and the league ruled on it – get over it move on and play hockey. Why don't you people get on the bandwagon to force the NHL to fix the turnbuckle area and the stanchion area , maybe they should open up a police investigation when he hit eaton – now that was a deliberate hit

    March 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • JAYMAN

      COME ON HAZY.BOTH WERE GOOD CLEAN HOCKEY HITS WHERE SOMEONE UNFORTUNATLEY GOT HURT.YOU CRY ABOUT ONE AND CHEER THE OTHER

      March 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ken

    Um, these hits are extremely common in hockey. There must be at least dozens of hits like this in 'every' game. So what now, you are going to go after someone only because there was an injury (which was only a by-product of the hit)?

    This should lead to more rules in sports: NASCAR – maxiumum speed of 75-mph (want to avoid any lawsuits for injury or death); baseball – pitchers throw from behind a metal screen and duck 'real quick like'; football – endless list; etc.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. rdgpa

    Stop being a wuss canadians. You love hockey so much and then cry cause your boy got slammed. I don't hear anyone asking to file charges when there's a fist fight on the ice. Your all a bunch of little girls whining cause your boy got put on his ass. Wait until one of you tries that stuff I'm calling my congressman to press charges on you.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Max Pacioretti is from Connecticut.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dontlikehockeyanyways

    I am sorry... I thought they were playing a man's game. If you cannot take being hit like a man then get out of the game.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Owen

    So all of you that are crying "play hard or go home" and "it's part of the game", if you were the one who got hit into the dividing glass, suffered a concussion and fractured vertebrae, would YOU still be on this side of the argument?

    March 10, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dontlikehockeyanyways

      Umm... yes, I would Owen

      March 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • cndh

      If I am on the ice as a player I have accepted the fact I could get hurt at any minute. How it happens is not material to the fact that I participating in a violent contact sport. Are you saying you think you should play but like most of society today, you are not responsible for your own decisions and actions? Come on people....look at reality. The injured player had no problem taking the pay checks each week and has probably made some similar hits in the past as well. This is a mans game and tough men at that.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • marriedtohockey

      Yeah I would. That hit was a case of bad timing. Two feet either way and he doesn't even get dropped. The 5 minutes was I thought over reactionary by the refs, the game suspension way over the top. There wasn't anything illegal about the hit, slightly behind the play with the puck, maybe with a stretch a two minute for interference. I hope he's okay but the NFL penalties were already over the top, cops involved, pulease! This is CANADA's national sport, right? Learn the rules, play the game, take the hits, get over it.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • esp

      @marriedtohackey: First of all, hockey is not Canada's national sport. Lacrosse is. If you were truly married to hockey, you'd know that.
      Second, Chara had his hand right behind Pacioretty's head at the moment of impact. Please don't tell me it's a part of hockey...

      March 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • DM

      @esp *Second, Chara had his hand right behind Pacioretty's head at the moment of impact.*

      Are you dumb or blind? The play was moving left to right, on the far side. Pac was on Chara's left side. Look at replays, his right hand never got above Pac's waist, never mind behind his head. His left hand was on the guy's shoulder. In fact, when you look at it, when people get checked, they stop skating as hard, Pac was trying to skate faster as this hit went on. He SHOULD have been hit 6 feet before the divider, but he lunged forward 2 steps, put himself in a very unbalanced, and vulnerable position, and took the divider to the face.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlJ0Ca6SIj8

      March 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoff

      @DM – and this image? Is his hand on Pacioretty's shoulder? No. No, I don't think so.

      http://habsinsideout.com/files/hio/images/chara-hit.jpg

      March 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoff

      @Marriedtohockey – The 5 minutes was standard NHL procedure. A minor penalty is made major or a double-minor if a player is seriously injured on the play. For instance, high-stick that draws blood? Double-minor. This invoked a major as per NHL guidelines.

      Then, he was kicked out in order to maintain order. The last Bruins-Habs game led to tons of fighting/bloodshed and the NHL had two Referees with TONS of experience officiating in order to keep the game from getting out of hand again. He was kicked out as a precautionary measure. Otherwise there would have been stuff being thrown on the ice at him by fans, fights, and more nonsense.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • DM

      @Geoff, no, his hand is actually not on anything. His wrist is on his shoulder. Here, I outlined Pac's entire arm for you to give you a hint as to how the human body works

      http://tinyurl.com/ArmOutlined

      March 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • DM

      @Geoff In fact, look at the video from 48-50 seconds. Watch Chara's arm. You are a moron.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoff

      @DM – It's a shove to the head at exactly the moment that they reach the turnbuckle. It's pretty obvious in the replays and in the photo. It's funny, you've outlined the arm yet the glove is above the entire arm and shoulder. There was bad blood here and Chara got his revenge. Hopefully it comes back to bite him.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoff

      @DM – Look where he finishes the hit. He shoves shoulder, then head. He also had an opportunity to hit Pacioretty at any point along the Bruins bench and waited until the stanchion. There was bad blood between them and I don't believe for a second that it wasn't intentional.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoff

      Also, @DM – Good call on calling me a moron. That's really mature and reasoned. Hot head like Chara, eh?

      March 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Olesman

      Maybe this will be the next hit that the Montreal Police investigate: http://tinyurl.com/eatonhit

      March 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bebetter

    After watching the video several times, I fail to see how this could be considered a crime.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • imabitodd

      I'm still trying to figure out how they even justify giving a penalty for this play. From what I saw it was a clean hit. I played hockey for almost 12 years and you know that you can get REALLY hurt anytime you step on the ice. There is no crime here people, move along.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoff

      @imabitodd – It was interference. Pacioretty cleared the puck down ice and Chara then proceeded to hit him late. That's interference for you. You aren't allowed to impede a player who doesn't have the puck. Text book interference.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      There's a lot more to it that just that video. ... Have you watched all the games this year between the Habs and Bruins? Do you know what the Bruins players and coach had said publicly before that game? Did you know that Chara was been targeting Max for the past three game? No, I didn't think so. That video doesn't explain the history between the teams and between Max and Chara. ... I recommend you start following hockey a little more closely before making ignorant comments like yours.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoff

      @Mark – Good call. Bruins players called out Pacioretty and said he would "get his" for tapping Chara on the back after scoring a game winning goal in OT. Chara went ballistic and wanted to fight everyone. A Bruins player, last game, actually horse-collared Pacioretty, pulled him down to the ice with no provocation, and began fighting him, and Chara was upset that he still hadn't had a chance to get back at him. Here was his chance, with 15 seconds left in the period, down 2-0. He committed interference all in an attempt to get to Pacioretty and the shoved him towards the stanchion.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Starman

    If the cops are going to investigate that hit as a crime, they're going to be watching hockey tapes for a couple of years. If the guy got up right away it probably wouldn't have been called at all.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoff

      Actually, it would have still been called interference. He impeded the player away from the puck. Interference. Learn the rules of the game before commenting on how it wouldn't even be a penalty without the injury.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JR

    This is not just an ugly incident during a hockey game. This is anti-France Canadainisim at its worse. This sets Canadian and Czechoslovian releations back 40 years. As a proud Canadian I will not be satisfied till someone on the Habs roster delivers a two hander and drops this Czech goon like a bag of hammers.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • marriedtohockey

      Idiot!

      March 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Junior

      Yes, Czech goon – ? JR you are a misinformed typical "Habs are great, everybody else sucks" crybaby Montreal whiner. Check your stats, I don't like Chara either but he's no goon. As for the hit, how can they suspend Chara for that when they didn't even suspend that Cooke idiot for his hit on Savard? I know you think the world revolves around the Habs (as do some refs who consistently bend to your fans crybaby whining at home games – yes, again, check the stats – Montreal at home is one of the least penalized teams in the league while opposition is opposite) but the NHL despite it's shortcomings (including officiating a game that is getting way to fast to officiate) is going to continue. And did you see that little weasel Paciorety peek up after he was on the ice – he'll be fine and will be playing sooner rather than later. He'll think twice about shoving Chara in the back next time.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Pacioretti is American.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Brave Dave

    An absolutely brutal outcome, but not a brutal hit. A few more feet up the ice, to the full board, and this would be a non-issue. Poor guy, unlucky. Not malicious by Chara in my view.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • towac

      joe is right.. this was not an intentional check to hurt the player..chara made the check.. and Pacioretty hit the gap between the full boards and booth. The check was a clean check.. just unfortunate where pacioretty hit the boards.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoff

      @Brave Dave – You can look at it that way or you can look at it this way: Every player in the NHL knows where they are on the ice. Chara knew where he was and he was playing Pacioretty illegally – the puck was far removed from the play – there was bad blood between them, and he hit Pacioretty right before the turnbuckle. He knew it was there.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoff

      @Brave Dave – As a professional, he is responsible for his actions. He knew when he was hitting Pacioretty and he should have made a decision not to hit him in such a dangerous area of the ice.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lebforces

    I live in montreal and think this dumb hockey player is stupid... Its a damn sport... your getting paid millions and millions to play it while other people work shleppy jobs earning minimum wage.... Either retire and or STF and play the damn game.... Ohhh was the police involved when Dale Hunter viciously hit Pierre Turgeon ? Was the cops summoned when Marty Mcsorely roughed up the other guy ??? Stop crying and assume the games consequences.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JK

    I watched that game. Saw the hit and rewound the TiVo to see it again. It was an unfortunate event, but in no way was it deliberate to injure. Should Chara tried to stop himself, yes, but this is hockey and people are on skates on ice and the laws of physics cannot be broken... 255 pound guy + forward motion = collision. If Chara had intended to injure the other player, then yes he should have been suspended, but in 13 years of professional hockey he has never intentionally injured another player why would he just start now?

    The call on the ice was old, the review after the fact was good. People are just shocked by the violent accident... That's all it was an accident. Chara should call him up apologize, make a donation ton the charity of his choice and be more attentive to the poor design of the hockey rink...

    Really... police investigation? That's extreme... It's not like he attacked the guy with his stick and kept beating him as he went down! Montreal Canadien fans are some of the worst in the world... They boo the American Anthem, they boo their own team, they are surley and rude to other fans... And they cry when they don't get their way. The next thing they are going to do is call the police to report a fight in the boxing ring... "um hi police... there are these two guys in the stadium fighting... Um what do you mean what are they wearing.... They are wearing satin shorts and they have leather gloves on their hands.... Yeah I know it's a boxing match, but one guy is hitting the other one real hard!"

    March 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Olesman

      This is an unfortunate accident but I find it comical that everyone thinks Chara should have slowed up and let Pacioretty have a clean break. What happened to the offensive player knowing where he is on the ice in a 4-0 game and slowing up to play another shift? That's what many were saying when Savard took an elbow to the head by cooke...I believe the quote was "he should have had his head up".

      March 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
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