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. Canaduh

    Only in Canada would they waste time & effort on soemthing stupid like this. It's a game, your guy got beat down- your team sucks. Deal with it. Canadiens are so soft.

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

      Really the canadiens that why they have a 4-1 record against the bruins this year?

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

      Hi we beat the crap out of team USA in the Olympics for the gold. Sit down and shut up. Thanks. =)

      March 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • GD19

      No, this type of foolishness is certainly possible in the US as well.
      To prosecute or not is a political decision and the Canadian masses seem to be demanding it.
      Prosecutor guy has no choice.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • adrifter

      Criminal investigations of hockey plays is a Quebec thing. It started after a couple of really ugly incidents in the Quebec junior league. Such investigations are extremely rare in Canada, including Quebec. If a complaint is filed, the police are only doing their duty to investigate. Despite this being a vicious hit, I predict there won't be any charges laid.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I don't remember any Canadiens calling for an investigation when Canadiens player Chris Nilan butt-ended Bruins player Rick Middleton in the mouth years ago!

      March 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • JLB

      'Only in Canada would they waste time & effort on soemthing stupid like this. '.... Hey buddy, take a look at the clogged court systems all across your great nation, and then talk to me about who the real masters are at wasting time on stupidity.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yall

      Leave it to some redneck like yourself to make a comment like this. So arrogant but typical. Im surprised you know what Canada is, you only learn about your own country in school there, no?

      March 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry Braithwaite

      Actually, it's Montreal that is suggesting the police get involved, not Canada. Exactly what you might expect from them. I am from Edmonton but not a serious hockey fan – good thing the way things are going here!

      March 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big Red

      @ Brad – I wouldn't call a soft goal (in overtime mind you) beating the crap out of someone. Granted you won the gold and many congrats to the knowledgable Canadien fans on that point but your comment clearly demonstrates your biases and your inability to based your judgements on the facts. I hate both teams (they both stink) so I can be non-bias. In the current era of the NHL handing out suspensions left and right, even they couldn't find anything wrong with this hit. Sorry your boy got hurt but same play happens anywhere else along the boards anbd this is a 2 minute minor. Case closed.

      March 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • silverfox

      You Canucks are soft!! This is all you have to complain about is your guy getting beat down in a game. You involve all your time in training hockey players but yet you can't involve YOURSELVES in anything ouf importance in the REAL WORLD around you. Look around, when was the last time YOUR COUNTRY involved itself to side and assist another country during times of difficult. HELL, the last known one was this latest war and YOUR PRESIDENT pulled your troops out because they couldn't handle the PRESSURES OF WAR when your troops were getting BEAT DOWN in the trenches by alQaeda so y'all scurried out with your tails between your legs and never looked back. Then because y'all are such idiots we had to ban our stores from from selling your stupid merchandise and we only started seeing it again was so your WEAK A$$ country wouldn't crash financially. Don't go there about being weak, I serve honorably for THE STRONGEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, so SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE and go back to whatever you CANUCKS do best.....NOTHING!!

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

      What I see here is an absolute lack of respect.
      There is a lack of respect among the players on the ice.
      There is a lack of respect among those who debate the issue.
      It's really disgraceful.
      Hockey is the best spectator sport ever watched. EVER!
      It is a real shame that the evolution of the game has led us all to this point.

      March 10, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Oggie

    There are pictures in the media (see link below) that show Chara's hand right on the side of Pacioretty's head at the moment his head hit the stancion. The hit was dirty. To think that it was un-intentional is quite naive. You can blame the design of the arena for contributing to the the severity of the injury but to try to say that it was accidental does not fly. Chara knew where he was, knew who he was hitting and gave him no chance to even try to get his head in a position that it would not impact the stancion.

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

      Totally agree with you!

      March 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Quite clear that the majority of you who are moaning about this have never put on a pair of skates unless you were chasing your girlfriend around the pond. This game moves fast, the fastest on earth without mechanical help. Chara plays hard (hard enough that I don't like him on the ice against my team) but I have never seen him play dirty, there is no history of dirty play, there is no history of violent intentions, only feable minds create that kind of ill will. The hit was nasty for how it came out. If it were 6' further back not one of you would be screaming right now. The fact that the lame fans want police actions is stupid crazy. I say if they even try it that the entire NHL refuses to play there ever again. The Canadiens have a long list of dirty, nasty, violent and even criminal players where was the call for them to be arrested. Grow up you children. If you don't get your way just go home, don't call the police.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • TorontoTransplant

      Jeff, anyone who watches hockey on a regular basis knows there is a difference between intentional head shot and a clean check. Watch the tape again right at the moment before his head hits the barrier...chara pushes his head. It's not about calling the police every time there's a fight as some small minded people here would suggest – its about getting back to a ruff and tumble game without ending careers or killing people. Would be the same no matter which teams were playing or where!

      March 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • ThatWasAHit

      Wow, I wonder if the US and the NFL should start filing criminal charges for hits in the NFL. I'm just saying, not matter what the cops do the can't prove he did intentionally.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oggie


      The police will look at it and nothing will ever come of that. I think that there is reason to scream but basically the incident is over with except for where Pacioretty sits.

      You say in your post Grow UP Children but I think that if you used some logic in your post instead of inflamatory statements people might take you more seriously. It was a dirty play.

      So you talk about Montreal's long list of dirty players, how about giving us a few names?

      In recent history, it isn't always the dirty players that cause the commotion. Do you remember Kyle McLaren's hit on Richard Zednik?

      So: Mclaren on Zednik, Chara on Pacioretty. Name one recent incident (say last 10 years) where a Montreal player put a Boston player in the infirmary with a dirty hit. I'll wait for you answwer......

      March 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Serge NY

    would they investigate if this was an away game at Boston? This is stupid, a star player Chara who doesn't have history of dirty hits, had a clean hit which ended up coming off dirty. Quebec's top prosecutor is an expert on what it looks like on the ice as you are scating at high speed during the game, to deem this a dirty hit??? And all other hockey players will now think it is ok to try to hurt someone? I mean seriously, it is a major stretch...

    March 10, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Karen

    This is ridiculous–and thus far the league (and the on ice officials) have handled it correctly and appropriately. It deserved an interference call (which it got), they gave Chara a game misconduct (which I do not think he deserved, but it was probably smart to keep the emotional fallout away from the rest of the game). It wasn't a particularly hard hit. The injury was caused by the COINCIDENCE of where the play was on the ice. It was not deliberate (Chara, for all of his size and hard play, is absolutely not a dirty player). It's a freak injury that happened after a typical hockey play that happens 100 times in every game. Emotions are taking the place of judgment right now.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. nfvn3

    Cry about it Max, it was a clean hit.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chris

    Great idea, investigate, arrest him for an interference penalty. The other 4 fights that happened during the game, forget about those. What a waste of money and effort from our friends north of the border. Ladies and gentlemen, it's Hockey! As a fan of Boston, to say Boston fans are dirty???? How about those "Broad street bullies from Philly during the 1970's? Or Chris Nilan's (Formerly of the Montreal Canadiens) and his dirty shot to Rick Middleton in the early 1980's. Chara's hit wasn't dirty. It was Hockey.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. LOL Pathetic Americans

    The USA is such a joke. You guys have more than 10% of your population under the poverty line. You have a broken education, health care and financial system. You guys are almost as bad as Mexico.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • MM

      This is rich. How come 90% of Canadiens live within an hour of US border? You are dependant on our economy, our innovation and the NHL. You are lucky to be our neighbor, so give it a rest!

      March 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • canada

      MM- Do you think it may be because the border is south and up north its to cold to live??? Guess you were taking you class in "dang" and missed geography

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

      LOL what a joke you are! LOL
      no sub-prime loans here – better standard of living year after year – better health care – better schools, less crime, etc., etc.....most of the commenters here are the standard in the good ol' US of A – that is too dumb to know what they don't know and willing to loudly and arrogantly announce that fact to the rest of the world.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carlos

      MM proves how stupid some Americans really are. They hear one fact..and assume it has to do with them.
      Duh..but doesnt the world revolve around US of A? Aren't we the center of the map??
      Trust me, the USA is not one of the top 5 reason why most Canadians live close to the border. And may not even be in the top 10.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • SamHill

      We wouldnt be under the povertly line if we got free handouts like your county gives out......

      March 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fletch

      Who's still kissing the queens ass? That's right the canadians... Who has french as an official language...the canadians... losers!

      March 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Habssuck

      what a joke...It not about USA and Canada, its about real fans (Boston) and the pathetic joke "Habs" fans are...your team is like a bunch of soccer stars rolling on the ground whining like babies...March 25th baby! Can't wait!

      March 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anne

      For the a*****e making comments about french, translate this: mange de la merde enfant de chienne!

      March 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tg

      Hey SamHill. At least we can AFFORD to give out those handouts.

      Fletch I would say kissing the Queens ass is better than kissing China's ass once they call in that loan.

      Also to my not so smart Canadian brothers and sisters. Outside of climate, I would say the USA is the reason most of us live so close to it. I know most of us suffer from a need to be better than America. But like 80 percent of our trade is with them. Seems easier to live closer to the people you sell stuff too.

      March 10, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I live in Canada and would like to see some sort of border fence or wall between our countries. Do you know what I mean?
      Americans want to keep mexicans out!
      Canadians would love to keep Americans out. We don't want your guns or stupidity just like you don't want it from mexico

      March 10, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jaxxorz

    This is rediculous. Why not just have the police issue Assault charges for everyone involved in fights now! Its hockey, players get caught up in the moment and the heat of the situation.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. nghusker

    Is Dudley Dooright having a fight with Nel? These are large men traveling 25 – 30 MPH in the heat of the game-action. It is the fastest team game in sports. BY FAR! They didn't re-design the hockey rink last week. The end of the glass is where it always has been. Accident. Plain and simple. I think the refs over-reacted by assessing a ten minute and game misconduct. If the roles were reversed, I can just hear the Hab fans screaming about what a baby Chara is. This was not an 'intent to injure' incident. Chara didn't even finish his hit.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Marc

    Yes it was a bed hit, but let the league hand the penalties and get the cops out of it. It happened on the ice during the hockey game and thats where it should stay. This thing with police getting involved with a hit is like cops charging a boxed for knocking someout out, or an MMA fighter getting his arm broken.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sam

    wow, after watching the video, it was hardly a shove. the injury was a result of the way rinks are built. if arenas would eliminate the 90º edges on the sides of the benches and put in angled panes, things like this wouldn't happen. whoever came up with the idea that putting those little pads on those sharp corners would prevent injuries is probably feeling a bit like a donkey right about now.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chris

    The Canadiens have won the most Cups of all NHL teams...but only 24. Hockey is a physical sport, it’s not tennis. The police should not be involved in investigating a hit like this, especially when it’s a home team player that was hit. This stinks of nepotism and political posturing. Chara deserver the penalties he was assessed and since there was severe injury, the league should have added a game or two to make a point about injuries. It wasn’t intentional (how Pacioretty hit the stanchion) but players should be held responsible on the ice, not in court as it was part of a play.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sophie

    I watched that game, and that hit was definitely not worthy of an arrest. The check was late and in an unfortunate area of the ice. He got the interference major and game misconduct and I agree that that was sufficient. Chara hasn't had any disciplinary issues in the NHL before and he's not a dirty player. It was a awful accident and I wish Pacioretty the best of luck with his recovery, but this is hockey. These things happen.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. nonames123

    Why is no one paying attention to the fact that the glass between the two benches is the hazard? Yes, Chara is a huge guy but had the separation not have been there this hit would not have been as bad looking or sounding. Hockey arenas are oval shaped without corners for a reason.

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

      I agree. Please see my post.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. LeftMind

    To me, it comes down to what about the check was against the rules? If it was "vicious", why? Because someone got hurt? People get hurt all the time on legitimate plays. I don't see anything in this article that explains WHAT the Boston player did wrong.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      I agree. A few feet down the side boards and you have no article, no discussion, no police investigation and probably no serious injury. And to all those that use the history between the two as proof that this was deliberate...yea it was deliberate to hit him...but not for his face to crash into the side like that and cause such a serious injury. Really just an unfortunate play and lets just worry about the health of Pacioretty.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
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