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 "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. Nomad

    I am not a hockey fan in the slightest. However, after wathing the video i can see no fault with this play. I don't even see why there was a penalty. Hockey is a brutal sport. One where they send you on the ice with a weapon. I'd be fine if there was no hockey. But all of these guys on here are right. Clean check in the wrong place and apparently some people want revenge.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • jblack

      Another ignorant fool who knows nothing about hockey and is commenting.
      First of all it was an illegal play and he was penalized and he knew exactly where the pole was when his hand clearly
      pushed his head towards it.
      Check pic below

      March 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nomad

      Ignorant fool?? You don't know me. Only a complete buffoon would make that comment Jake.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kell

    Go actually WATCH the play.... Even the game ejection is a bit excessive if you watch what happened. If that had happened at anywhere else on the entire ice, there would have been no issue. The problem is more of a stadium design flaw and a player got injured as a result. Did football players that got tackled into the endzone and hit the upright get charged before? No, they redesigned the uprights so that the support would be out of the way and put padding on it. Did basketball players who pushed an opponent into the support pole of the net get charged in the past? No, they redesigned the net so the pole was out of the way and put padding on it. In this case, they should redesign how the glass is setup around the player's boxes and put padding on it....

    March 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoff

      He was ejected from the game because of the history between the teams.

      In fact, the NHL prepared for this game by bringing in two referees with TONS of experience because they didn't want another bout of fighting to break out. They removed him so that things didn't get out of hand more so than for the actual penalty.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kevin Jones

    Time to remove the nets from the rink too, ive seen people get hurt more running in to the nets than what happened the other night. Just a thought as I hand a box of Kleenex hankies to the Canadiens.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoff

      He broke his neck and may never play again. I've never seen this bad an injury with a net – they move for a reason. The turnbuckle (stanchion) doesn't move – he could have easily died and many reporters in fact thought that he may have been killed immediately upon the hit.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Jones

      The boards dont move either, ive seen countless injuries attribited to hitting the boards wrong, all part of the sport. Anyone know Travis Roy?

      March 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoff

      Yes, I know the story of Travis Roy and that was an unfortunate accident.

      The issue here is with knowledge of the NHL rinks. Chara (and all NHL players) have played on the same rink size, the same rink design for their entire careers. They know where they are on the ice at all times and the play looks an awful lot like Chara rides Pacioretty against the Bruins bench and shoves him right at the turnbuckle. He knew the turnbuckle was there. This isn't a clean hit gone wrong, it's an intentional hit to injure. There was bad blood between Chara and Pacioretty, Chara's team was down 4-0, there were 15 seconds left in the period, he hit Pacioretty late, shoved his head into the turnbuckle, and walked away without even a slap on the wrist from the NHL.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Canuck Hockey

    Wow! Thats gotta hurt! I think the Canadiens fans are just bent because of the severity of the injuries. Was the hit dirty, No. Was it unfortuneate, Yes. Charges against Zdeno, HaHa that's just stupid! It's hockey, sh!t happens. I do hope Max is Okay. I can't believe the comments from folks in the US calling Canadian people wussies/pansies. Canadiens fans on the other hand...

    March 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • BruinsFan02110

      For what it's worth, I don't think that of Canadian fans. Most Bostonians do not think that way either... not the ones that I know anyway.

      We love our kin from Québec! 🙂

      March 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BruinsFan02110

    It's unfortunate that a player was hurt, but its the nature of the game.

    I watched the game and saw the play live... Mike Murphy's assessment is correct.

    Montréal fans are angry because Boston simply has a better team this year! They're afraid the "brain drain" in Québec is beginning to hit hockey, too :-).

    March 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1972

      What is the Bruins record against the Habs this year?

      March 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Darkstar

    Nothing illegal there !!! Bad luck for the Canadian player. Had he been two feet left or right of the stanchion, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kweso

    We went for a fight and a game broke out! That's hockey for you.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Geoff

    Watch this clip of it in slow-motion and tell me he didn't know exactly when and where he was hitting Pacioretty.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sci30

    I saw no malicious intent to harm in the video. Sadly, someone got seriously injured. What needs to change is the stanchion. It's always the place I have some fear when I'm playing. I've had enough close calls near the bench and never felt the opposing player was being malicious about it.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. V

    I guess this is more exciting than a "cat in a tree" call. Oh well, can't fix stupid.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. DD

    The initial hit was OK. What bothered me was Chara extended his arm and it appears he used that to force Pacioretty into the stanchion. The puck was back in the Boston end and his defensive partner was there to collect it. There was no need for the forearm shove that drove Pacioretty into the stanchion.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Darkstar

    To even consider that something criminal happened is assinine...

    March 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dzznutz

    Clean hit... all you people crying about it good lord.. guess you guys have not played hockey or for that fact watch it...its a shame he got hurt like that but it was not a dirty hit..

    March 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dujimowado

    Hey! There's a black dude in there! Nice!

    March 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • American Idiot

      There are several black dudes in hockey, including former scoring champ and MVP Jarome Iginla.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kevin Jones

    Time to investigate the Montreal Forum.........oooops sorry.....Molson centre or whatever for allowing hockey players to play in such dangerous working conditions, maybe when all the whining is done they should investigate the designer of the rink for making such a dangerous situation...........gotta get more hankies out now.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
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