Blog Entry

Zdeno Chara escapes suspension for hit

Posted on: March 9, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 5:59 pm

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara escaped suspension for the check that left Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty with a severe concussion and a fractured neck vertebra, the NHL announced Wednesday afternoon. 

“After a thorough review of the video I can find no basis to impose supplemental discipline,” said Mike Murphy, the NHL’s Senior V.P of hockey operations, in a statement. “This hit resulted from a play that evolved and then happened very quickly -- with both players skating in the same direction and with Chara attempting to angle his opponent into the boards.”

Instead of the boards, Pacioretty found the divider between the benches late in the second period of Tuesday’s game at Bell Center. Pacioretty’s head hit the turnbuckle and he crumpled to the ice, where he lay several minutes as medical personnel attended to him. (Here’s a link to the video.) Canadiens coach Jacques Martin described Pacioretty’s neck injury Wednesday as a non-displaced fracture of the fourth cervical vertebra.

“I’m not a medical doctor,” Martin told The Montreal Gazette and other outlets after practice on Wednesday.  “What’s important is that there’s no displacement.

“Our first concern (as an organization) is that he gets his health back as a human being. You hope he’ll recover and continue his career, but it’s too soon to know his (potential) limitations. He’s still under observation.”

Martin added Pacioretty would be out of action indefinitely.  
Chara, who also got into a scuffle with Pacioretty the pervious time these two teams met, was assessed a major boarding penalty and a game misconduct for the collision. 

"The one thing that everybody here hopes, is that the human side of us wishes for (Pacioretty) to recover quickly and well," Bruins coach Claude Julien told Comcast SportsNet New England. "That would something that everybody hopes, here. I know that (Chara) is going through a lot of stuff right now, and is being perceived as a dirty player, which anybody who knows Z, knows that's not the case."

Murphy said he not only took into account the video evidence, but the entirety of Chara’s 13-year NHL career. Chara drew an automatic one-game suspension under the NHL’s instigator rule as a member of the Ottawa Senators in December 2005, his only career suspension. 

“I could not find any evidence to suggest that, beyond this being a correct call for interference, that Chara targeted the head of his opponent, left his feet or delivered the check in any other manner that could be deemed to be dangerous,” said Murphy, who handled the decision because Colin Campbell, the league’s normal disciplinarian, has a son, Gregory,  on the Bruins.  

Before news Chara avoided a suspension broke, some of Pacioretty’s teammates openly wondered how such a veteran player like Chara could have been caught in that position.

“I don’t know what Chara was thinking, what he felt or what his awareness was on the ice,” Habs forward Michael Cammalleri said on the team’s official website. “I can’t comment on his intent. There are two types of hits in hockey -- the kind that are strategic and tactical, designed to get the guy off the puck and make a play, and then there’s the kind when you catch another guy in a vulnerable position and try to inflict some damage. It’s how a lot of people are taught to play when they’re young, and it makes it a tough mandate to change that attitude.”

For Pacioretty's linemate Scott Gomez, said something he heard was just as jarring as watching the collision. . 

"What I remember about it was the sound -- it sounded like a gun: bang!" Gomez told The Associated Press. "Stuff like that is tough to look at."

Photo: Getty Images
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:16 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: March 10, 2011 9:10 pm

Zdeno Chara escapes suspension for hit

MON vs. BOS has been nasty this year, I watched a few lots of violence, good old fashioned hockey. I like watching them 2 teams play. Chara though gave a cheap shot, it was obvious. He is a giant man and hard to hammer, he is an awesome player. However, cheap shots like that need to be ruled out. These players know every inch of that ice. It is not the first time people aim a hit into the bench bar, and he extended his arms pushing him into it. It needs to be taken out of the game. If the league will not fix those cheap shots the players will. I dont wish dirty plays and injuries on anyone, if it happens to Chara I will not feel bad in the slightest. Someone on MON will be headhunting him and he deserves it for that dirty hit.

Since: Feb 6, 2011
Posted on: March 10, 2011 8:37 pm

Zdeno Chara escapes suspension for hit


Since: Apr 25, 2007
Posted on: March 10, 2011 5:52 pm

Zdeno Chara escapes suspension for hit

I don't know wiseguy. If you've actually played that much hockey in your life you must certainly be willing to admit that you never stepped onto the ice without knowledge of the areas in the rink that bring danger. There is no way Chara didn't know where he was. I agree completely that he didn't intend to break another player's neck. But to say it was "just a regular hockey play" is completely wrong. In my opinion, any player who truly respects other players, and the game itself, has a duty to take full responsibility for their actions. Chara knew where he was, and knew of the dangers associated with even guiding Pacioretty in the direction that he did. Sure, Chara's a large man. And I am semi-sympathetic to the argument that if he was 8 inches shorter, his hand/arm wouldn't have guided Pacioretty's head into the glass patrition. But the thing that gets me is the fact that if Chara would have simply taken one extra stride toward the boards and kept his hands down, Pacioretty is not in the hospital... and Pacioretty still would have no chance at winning the puck. 


Since: Mar 10, 2011
Posted on: March 10, 2011 9:11 am

Zdeno Chara escapes suspension for hit

It's not just the Chara hit; it's hockey in general. I gave up watching the game (that I so loved to watch) many years ago. I couldn't listen to my hubby complain SO MUCH. Thing is, he was right. The referee work is PATHETIC; and add on all this DISGUSTING hockey plays ..... I'd much rather watch the news the following day just to get the highlights. This is no longer a fun sport with challenges. Top management should DO something before they loose their spectators to better sports.

Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: March 10, 2011 8:55 am

Zdeno Chara escapes suspension for hit

I'll take a good goal over a good fight anyday

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: March 10, 2011 8:51 am

Zdeno Chara escapes suspension for hit

I played hockey growing up and was lucky enough to continue playing in college for 4 more years.  Having watched the video 5-6 times this was not a cheap shot in the least.    Had it happened where there was glass it would not even had been that good of a hit.

About a previous poster who said fighting is ruining the game..that could not be farther from the truth.  The fans LOVE a good scrum..nothing better than a anticipated fight between a couple of goons and the refs just standing back and letting them go.  So much netter than baseball or basketball fight where all player do is run around and sucker punch each other.

Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: March 10, 2011 3:33 am

Zdeno Chara escapes suspension for hit

I was watching Off the Record on TSN and one of the ex-NHL players on the panel was actually blaming Pacioretty because he didn't know when to "bail" and avoid getting hit by Chara.  UNBELIEVABLE!!!  And then you have all the brain dead idiots saying that it's just  I have been watching hockey for over 40 years and can't believe the NHL did absolutley nothing regarding this assault.  Chara was totally aware of his surroundings and fully knew what he was doing.  He is an NHL veteran and knows what he he doing on the ice.  By doing nothing the NHL is becoming NASCAR, seriously.  Make up rules as you go along...shameful.

Since: Sep 7, 2008
Posted on: March 10, 2011 2:32 am

Zdeno Chara escapes suspension for hit

Reminds me of the severe Teddy Greene fight back in the 1960s

Since: Mar 10, 2011
Posted on: March 10, 2011 1:17 am

Zdeno Chara escapes suspension for hit

I'm a hockey fan and saw the play. No question Chara knew what he was doing (though I agree with prior poster that he did not likely intend to cause serious injury). However, to the poster (Center Ice) that blames the NHL--WTF? This wasn't one of those fast-moving, blink-of-an-eye plays. The puck had passed and Chara hit him well away from the play (which is what drew the interference penalty to start with). Please stay out of American politics as we already have too many people who believe individual responsibility is no longer required. I agree--clean player committing dirty foul. Should have been a short suspension--I think a player's history should only come in with regard to the length of the suspension. And to the poster who wondered if the outcome would have been different if it were Sid--clearly not since Sid has been out since January in part to an unpenalized hit by Dave Steckel who has since strongly hinted that it was a dirty play and he was sorry. So much for the video review....

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