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. Seriously?

    I'm getting a little tired of the "it was just the wrong part of the rink"..."if the glass didn't end/start there, it would be a nothing play." If you were pushed off a cliff, would you blame the cliff for being there, or the person who pushed you?

    Chara didn't want to break his neck and possible end his career – but he saw the opportunity to "make him pay" for a little incident that happened two games back. Hockey players know where the "turnbuckle" is, and Chara knew what he was doing...just didn't want that kind of result (probably just wanted to shake him up).

    Regardless, Chara wasn't thinking rationally and laid a reckless hit that will likely end Pacioretty's career. Clearly, someone has to die before the NHL gets serious about this kind of thing. 0 games is a joke.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryce

      Glad you have such insight into the mind of Chara. Please, tell me.. what's he planning on having for dinner tonight? I must know.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CB

    Anyone that has played hockey at higher levels understands that this play was an unfortunate accident, but a clean hit. I've played in both WHL & QMJHL. I know the intensity of the game. Nothing wrong with the hit from Chara. Police have no business in this matter.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Jones

      Thank you....only if you understand what is involved playing a sport, can you make judgements on its content.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Zdeno Chara

    Lighten up you hosers. Clean Hit.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary Bettman

      Yes sir. Please don't hurt me.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby Orr

      I'm shaking my head in digust.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. brian

    my gosh people its called sports, yes the hit was bad, but its called assumption of the risk. If you have every played a sport you know that injuries can happen. It's not Chara's fault that the stanchion is in the way, its the NHL's. If you think legal action should be taken against him, what about football helmet to helmet hits? whats the difference? or a liner from a baseball bat to a pitchers head? A bat and a helmet in the right situation could be a dangerous weapon, so whats the difference? Let's charge them all criminally!! Come on!!! Be real!!! I feel bad for the guy that got hurt but I bet if he was on the giving end, he wouldnt be whining, like you people are. It's called SPORTS and if you play you assume the risk of getting hurt, simple as that

    March 10, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. proudamer

    Are you serious Canuck Hockey heads! You like to see yourselfs as hockey being "your game" which hitting is part of the moment something doesn't go your way in a game(take your pick which Canadian team is playing) it's a travesty!! Quit your whining and complaining!! It's embarrassing!! And only one city thinkc it's not a clean hit...The hotbed of whiners Montreal.....

    March 10, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mdl79

    I think it's funny some bias fans are saying they should ban Chara from Canada. I think the NHL should ban Canadian teams from the American NHL then. While they are at it get ride of the baseball and basketball teams from Canada...

    March 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • CB

      better re-read your history book on where Hockey was first played - and also look at who invented basketball - A Canadian!

      March 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Idiots

    @ AP and all the other idiots out there.

    This was a clean hit! He didnt even hit his head first. You are a bunch of babies. U make me sick

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

      @Idiots – Wow. Abusive comment. Add something meaningful to the discussion.

      First of all, it was an illegal play. It was interference and as a result, Chara should be held responsible for his actions. Secondly, history indicates there was bad blood between these players. Chara had been head-hunting Pacioretty the whole last game they played together – and a Bruins player even horse-collared Pacioretty and began punching him without provocation in the last game all because Pacioretty scored an OT winner earlier this season and tapped Chara on the back afterwards. Regardless of intent, when an injury this devastating is caused by an illegal play there should be some repercussions for Chara.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. marty

    if you wonder why the glass doesn't go all the way around the rink, it is clear to me that you never watch the game!

    was not a accident

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

      LOL! Or ever been to an ice rink.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Shaun

    Tell me people, if this is "just part of the game", then why are Air Canada and other big sponsors threatening to withdraw their sponsorship from the NHL if nothing is done? If this was such a small deal, why threaten such harsh recourse?

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

      Because theyre Canadien businesses, filled with Canadien people and so on....Plenty of other airlines that fly up there, ild be more than happy to use them.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sci30

      If big sponsors are so concerned, then they should invest the money to design the area near the benches to be more safe.

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

      But nonetheless, they do not want their name associated with supporting this kind of violence. Hockey is watched by all audiences – young and old. It is supposed to be family-friendly. Their brand represents family-friendly. And watching the way things played out on Tuesday night...lets just say I wouldn't have wanted my 5 year old son to witness that. That's not what he considers "the fun of the game". It goes without saying that there will always be risks involved in the game. However, players need to be a little more afraid of consequences, or else, who knows how far things will go? Again, it should not take a guy to actually die on the ice, for the NHL to reconsider what they consider acceptable/not.

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

      And Sci30- don't get me wrong, I don't disagree that flawed design is also to blame here. Had it not been for that dangerous stanchion, Chara would probably not have injured Pacioretty so severely. However, how can you know for sure that Chara did not deliberately plan to throw him in there? Not with the intention to break his neck, but surely with the intention of hurting him. Again, he had a vendetta against Pacioretty from their encounter at the end of the January 8 game. This is probably why criminal investigation is being carried out. There was motive.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Jones

      They support it and advertise only to make money.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shaun

      Kevin- if they support and advertise only to make money, then why threaten pulling out sponsorship now? If money is all they care about?

      March 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Jones

      Because of all the whining and crying. Just because someone whines and cries does not make the incident criminal. Its a case of passionate fans being passionate. There is no reason to investigate this. Poll all the current NHL players and ask them, you may be surprsed how few think it was criminal.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shaun

      So you're totally convinced that the scuffle at the end of the January 8 game between Pacioretty and Chara was completely unrelated to what happened on Tuesday's encounter?

      March 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Jones

      Ive played my whole life, my sons played his whole life, yes Ive "taken numbers" when i disgreed with what may have happened to me, I have searched that player out and taken care of it cleanly. Chara is a clean player, hes just frigigin big. I dont believe he had time to see that stanchion and readhust his stride and time that hit deliberately, only Chara knows. No i dont beleive Jan 8 meant much to him.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sci30

      I can't see my comments for some reason, but how can you prove that little skirmish in january is related to this.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shaun

      Exactly...you said it...he's a big guy. And he knows it. Being a hockey player yourself, I'm sure you can say that most hockey players are well aware of their surroundings (ice space, boards, stanchions), while they are playing. I just think that their needs to be accountability. Even if he didn't intend to hurt him as bad as he did, giving no suspension at all sends the message that this play was acceptable. How would you feel if your son met that fate? Would you say that it would be part of the game? Or that Chara should have been more careful...

      March 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sci30

      When I play, I would be lying if i said I never had any intention of getting back at some of my opponents for some things I've received. Opportunity never came up though. I'm pretty large at 6'4". I try not to use it to injure the smaller players, and do my absolute best to not to. But NHL is a different beast. It's the risked assumed when you play at that level.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shaun

      Sci30- Of course you can't prove it... but in terms of this now being criminally investigated, that can suggest that there was some sort of motive behind Chara's hit on Tuesday. We can't really prove anything...only Chara knows what was going through his head at that moment. We are all speculating here.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shaun

      Well if you can be mindful of your size and surroundings...no reason why the pros can't.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sci30

      I'd speculate that, having been known to make stupid mistakes, that its likely chara did it and knew that as he was doing it, it was probably a bad idea. But was already to late to stop it.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shaun

      Agreed. I don't think he planned to do as much damage as he did. But now a kid that was just starting out his career is lying in a hospital bed, likely due to a bad judgment call by Chara. There needs to be a little more fear of consequences in the league. Even a one game suspension, I think, would have made a sufficient statement. Think before you act. Be aware of where you are and what you are doing. Pacioretty wasn't anticipating that hit. He may have been able to brace himself a bit better, had he been aware that Chara was riding him up like that. It would be sad if something like this were to happen again, and ended up with more serious consequences. No player thinks that they might die out there. Yet it could have happened here. Players assume risks. But I don't think they ever consider that the game could take their life.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sci30

      These players are all colleagues. I refuse to believe that they dislike each other that much. I know if I had don't this, i would probably be beating myself up about it and probably would have a self-imposed suspension for a few games. I have no doubt Chara feels bad, even if he doesn't show it publicly.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sci30

      excuse my poor typing," if i had done this".

      March 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shaun

      I don't doubt that either. Like I said, I don't think he intended for it to go this far. But if there is more fear of consequences resulting from serious injuries, then it is likely that a player might think twice before doing something like Chara did.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sci30

      Question is, where do you draw the line? I think its easier to spend some money and time designing the physical environment to minimize risks of serious injuries like this, since its something you can control, unlike players.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JDAG

    He did not have the puck, he should not have been hit. That was a penalty for interference. So an illegal play resulted in a serious injury that could end his career. When a player does not have the puck, they do not expect to be hit like that so, they do not brace themselves for a hit. Chara should have been suspended for a few games. If it was a Bruins player that went down like that, their fans would be as outraged as the Canadiens fans are. Perhaps theNHL league did not want to suspend him because this way, Chara will get what he deserves on the ice by some other player as payback. That is what the NHL has set up to happen. Hope Max makes a full recovery and can return to the game he loves.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Blue liner

    Serious injuries are part of all professional athletics – not just hockey. There is the possibility every night that after lacing it up guys will be injured in ways that will change their lives forever. Most players have made their peace with that possibility. If a fan can’t or won’t do the same then watching the game would be the height is the hypocrisy.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cory

    Canadians are much weaker than back in the day. Flip the script if a guy that plays hockey and lives in boston the rest of the us would not give a F*&^! You canadians and your hockey.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hali

      FYI – Pacioretty is American – Boston has 17 Canadians on their team and 3 Americans – There are actually more Americans on the Canadiens.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Gabe

    It was a clean hit. There is no need to investigate. In other arenas this wouldn't have resulted in a serious injury.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. steelerguin

    Cleary a dirty hit. I'm neither a Bruin or Canadiens fan, but the hit was uncalled for. Chara knew exactly where he was on the ice and what he was doing. These guys are highly skilled skaters with plenty of hockey experience. He should have been suspended. He did not have a reputation as a dirty player when the game started, but when he skated off the ice that all changed. Too bad the league is confused on how to protect their players. I hope it doesn't require someone to become paralyzed or die on the ice for them to make the appropriate rules.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cyg

    Shows just how hypocritical humans can be – if there is no fighting and blood in hockey, fans claim they would never watch – we must have our modern day Rome and Gladiators after all. So someone gets a whalloping hit and they want to put the player in prison? If it happens to someone else – it's ok – but if it's our guy, it's crime! Lame...lame game.

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