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Bettman: NHL 'comfortable' with Chara decision

Posted on: March 10, 2011 2:32 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2011 4:08 pm

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday he backs the league's decision not to suspend Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara, even as many fans and sponsors were angered no punishment was meted out for the check that left Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty injured. 

“Our hockey operations people are extraordinarily comfortable with the decision that has been made,” Bettman said in a briefing designed to promote the game of hockey on Capitol Hill. “I think it was a horrific injury. We are sorry it happened in our fast-paced, physical game. But I don't think whether or not supplemental discipline is imposed would change what happened. In fact, people in the game I've heard from almost to a person . . . believe it was handled appropriately by hockey operations.”

Obviously, Bettman hasn't spoken to  Pacioretty, who suffered a fractured vertraba in his neck and a severe concussion after a check from Chrara Tuesday night sent him headfirst into a divider between the benches. (Here's a link to the video.)  He told TSN's Bob McKenzie that he thought Chara deserved at least a couple games for the check. 

Just because the league failed to act, Chara may not be totally off the hook. 

Quebec's Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions said was recommending an investigation of the incident, according to French-language news outlet  Rue Frontenac. The investigation will begin immediately, Montreal police Constable Olivier Lapointe, told  The Montreal Gazette.

The Canadian Press reports Quebec has pursued three criminal cases in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League players since 2008, most notably Atlanta Thrashers prospect Patrice Cormier. The province has instituted strict laws in recent years in an attempt to curb hocky violence, which could come into play in Tuesday's incident.

Here's a link to video Bettman at the panel discussion in Washington on Thursday via TSN.

Photo: Getty Images

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:09 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Feb 6, 2011
Posted on: March 11, 2011 4:12 pm

Bettman: NHL 'comfortable' with Chara decision

OK LADIES ---- I'm both a HUUUUUGE BRUINS FAN ( and a proud Canadian, living in TORONTO ) BOTH of which lead to my EXTREME HATRED towards the HABS !!!  OMFG - GET OVER IT !!!! You bunch of whiny fawkin' idiots ( HAB fans ) !!!!! The guy got 'pasted' along the boards - because he wasn't keeping HIS head up !! CHARA is a relatively CLEAN player ( a Monster! ; p ) And I'm glad he plays for my BRUINS !! * GO BRUINS !! *

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 2:39 pm

Bettman: NHL 'comfortable' with Chara decision

ANY Montreal fans want to comment on THIS hit??? THIS is what you call a dirty hit, not what Chara did.

Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: March 11, 2011 1:19 pm

Bettman: NHL 'comfortable' with Chara decision

That poll shows that you are just another ignorant french canadian. 

Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: March 11, 2011 12:00 pm

Bettman: NHL 'comfortable' with Chara decision

kgb I don't think that it is a stretch at all.  I really do get tired of everyone bashing Bettman because they are morons.  If hockey followed all the other major sports leagues into mindless salary escalation it would effectively kill the NHL or contract it back to a dozen teams.  I'm not in favor of contraction because it's a step backward and hockey needs to keep forward momentum even if it is slow. When Gretzky was traded to Los Angeles it put hockey in the spotlight in a way it never was before.  Bettman seized that opportunity to open hockey to a whole new world.  The only way hockey can survive is fiscal responsibility and steady growth of it's fan base.  Unfortunately in this business just as so many other it's grow or go.  Is Bettman perfect? Hell no.  He is the only commissioner to make decisions for the good of the entire league and not just some of the owners or some of the players.  He's looking big picture and most of the mindless knuckle draggers that post here can't see past the remote control of their tv set.

Since: Feb 13, 2011
Posted on: March 11, 2011 8:02 am

Bettman: NHL 'comfortable' with Chara decision

The only problem I had with the hit was it was late.  A penalty was called and it was a 5 minute major.  If they had given Chara a 2 minute minor interference then I could see the leagues stance.  But when a player is injuried like this and a 5 minute major plus a 10 game misconduct is called then at least 1 to 2 games should have been dealt out just because of those circumstances.

As for the police involvement, keep the police out of sports, it's fast pace and things happen.  Canada should have better things for their police to spend time on than wondering if they should charge a Hockey Player for something that happened during the game.

Last, I was disappointed that a Candian didn't drop his gloves.  so what if he would have been whipped by Chara, or gotten 5 minutes for fighting, Something like this can take the starch out of both teams and to regenerate your team by showing you care for your fallen teammate, no matter if it was legit, accidental or intentional, needed to be done.  I don't know what went on after this call and Chara's suspension, but at least at the next puck drop someone from Montreal should have dropped their gloves and slammed anyone on the ice from the Bruins. 

Just my thoughts. 

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:22 am

Bettman: NHL 'comfortable' with Chara decision

C'mon people.  It was a horrific injury off a clean hit.  this happens in every sport.  If any of you take an objective look at the video, there is no way on God's green earth you can truly think Chara intended to injure the man.  NO WAY.  My prayers go out to Pacioretty.  And my prayers go out to Chara too for the wrongful backlash he is going to get for what amounts to a clean hockey hit.  If that hit occurs just a few feet further up the ice, we aren't having this conversation.  

Since: Nov 16, 2007
Posted on: March 11, 2011 2:09 am

Bettman: NHL 'comfortable' with Chara decision

Man are there some sick sick bastards on this board!!!!
 I knew, as do all other NHL fans, that most Bruins fans watched hockey . a sport they obviously have never played and know none of the rules, to see goons fight and players get crushed into the boards and be taken off the ice in stretchers. Not to witness speed and skill, the very basis of this great sport.But to read some joyous comments on here, you'd think some fringe Bruins fans believe hockey should be played in the freakin' Rome Coliseum! You know the kind of rednecks that watch Nascar to see some car wrecks?
Luckily the Boston Globe had it right when they polled their readers and 68% thought Chara should be suspended. Bravo to them! Shows it's just a minuteminority of escaped lunatics. 
But for the other complete psychotic and insane fans on the fringes of society, that make the " Arizona Shooter" look and sound pretty damn good these days, you my disgusting barbaric feeble-minded morons are tops on the psychiatric-meds-needing scale!
To laugh and rejoice at a 22 year old kid sprawled on the ice with a broken neck??? And give that other sick bastard a standing O?
The gene pool is DEFINITELY becoming shallower every every day.
This world and the society we live in are really going to hell...

Since: Mar 11, 2011
Posted on: March 11, 2011 1:40 am

Bettman: NHL 'comfortable' with Chara decision

If you look at the Daniel Paille hit on Ray Sawada on Feb 3 he was suspended 4 games and was the first to be suspended in regulation with the new rule 48. Although this hit was different then the Chara hit on Pacioretty the issue at hand with the NHL decision-making board is the inconstancy. If you read Mike Murphy's explanation of Chara's "get free card" or lack of any form of punishment he based it on Chara's history and said that it was his first offence in 13 years.... That is true but where did this come into play with Daniel Paille's hearing? He has one of the lowest penalty minutes on his team, no prior offences and is known publicly for being " one of the nicest guys in the league" by many of these former and current teammates. What about the discrepancy in the time it took for the NHL to make a decision, with Daniel Paille's hearing it took only 30 short minutes where as Chara's was hours? Also Murphy said that Chara's feet never felt the ice, whereas this was the same in the case with Daniel Paille. Murphy says that Chara wasn't punished because there was no intent to injury, however if you watch the play Pacioretty had no where to go, no place to escape but the boards when Chara hit him, and in the video you can see Chara's arm come up. In Paille's case he had no prior involvement with Sawada and at least Sawada had the puck when Daniel Paille administered the hit whereas the puck was a few feet away from Pacioretty when Chara choose to hit him. It seems that the NHL league and its governing body that administered the decisions view each case through a skewed ideology and are not standard in their regulations which is problematic I wouldn't be surprised if in the future were investigated by a higher justice system.


 It seems the league and governing bodies in the league (Mike Murphy) are basing a majority of their decisions not on a standard scale examining each player according to a specific set of criteria but based on their feelings/perceptions, thus not on the same set of criteria which creates a big gap in equality and justice. It seems that the league is protecting higher paid more " valuable" players and penalizing lower paid players, as was the case with Daniel Paillé. On a side note it might be interesting to also examine not only the politics involved with the NHL governing body but also self serving players like Andrew Ference who when Paillé hit Sawana went public and discussed his feelings about the hit labeling it “ a bad hit” knowing full well the media hype this would create. There is nothing wrong with players voicing their opinions but in this case it was also political, this player (Andrew Ference) has been known to use the media to improve his own self-image at the expense of another player or teammate. The issue with his comment and going to the media is that Daniel Paillé was already in the hot seat, he was ejected from the game and was going to have a public hearing in the morning. Speaking to the media and calling a teammate out on something they did when they have a clean record and are already being publicly penalized does not make someone a hero. He was the key person responsible for the NHLPA Paul Kelly getting fired. In the case of speaking out against Daniel Paille’s hit with the media, he knew the implications and also saw a prime opportunity to look like a “hero” when the NHL is suppose to be cracking down on hits. Meanwhile he is one of the players that fights the most and has tons of penalty minutes. Daniel Paillé was the perfect type of player to use since he is a lower paid player that is on and off the roaster, isn’t it interesting that Ference didn’t feel the need to speak up about Chara’s hit that inflicted much more injury? Its no wonder when you have a somewhat corrupt NHL governing body, some players will mimic it to get media attention at the expense of their team mate.

Since: Dec 20, 2008
Posted on: March 10, 2011 10:43 pm

Will Bettman be Komfortable with Komisarek

Once again we see a player not respecting an opponent and hitting him from behind into the boards. Komisarek's cheap shot only serves to increase the image that you can do anything without worrying about NHL discipline. Or is this an offense that will get a suspension?

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