CRIMINAL?? I DON'T THINK SO

Jason Gregor
March 10 2011 11:31AM

The Zdeno Chara hit has sent the country, okay, mainly a few politicians, an airline, an entire province and now the Police, into a frenzy. It was seven years ago this past Tuesday that Todd Bertuzzi jumped Steve Moore and the reaction wasn't close to the emotional outcry that we are witnessing right now.

First it was the politicians trying to gain popularity. via the Toronto Sun:

"I simply don't understand what the NHL is thinking here," Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff told reporters after the NHL made its decision. "It's up to the National Hockey League to protect its players. It's up to the National Hockey League to protect all the young kids playing the game. It's up to the National Hockey League to act and I can tell you, there is strong feeling in the House of Commons that if they don't act, then, you know, we should get involved. No politician wants to get involved in this, it's not our business. But as a citizens, as a fan, I think it's outrageous."

The Chara hit came up during daily Question Period in the House of Commons minutes before the NHL released its decision.

NDP MP Glenn Thibeault, who has been pushing new legislation to reduce concussions and other serious injuries in amateur sports, told the House the Chara hit was more evidence new rules are needed.

Minister of State for Sport Gary Lunn said the government had been consulting with national sporting organizations on the issue.

"It is something that we hope that the NHL also takes very seriously. This type of hitting is unacceptable," Lunn said. "We would do everything to ensure that NHL does not allow this kind of action to continue."

I'm sure all of us are happy that the Liberals, NDP and Conservatives are so concerned about the game. I'm not sure what new rule Thibeault would like put in, but based on their track record I'm sure they will follow up with a comprehensive study and actually try and do something to lessen concussions.

Or they might put as much work into reducing concussions as they have into making our criminal system more fair.

ENTER AIR CANADA

Then Air Canada sent a letter to Gary Bettman. Here is a portion of  it.

"We are contacting you (Wednesday) to voice our concern over (Tuesday night's) incident involving Max Pacioretty and Zdeno Chara at the Bell Centre in Montreal," wrote Vandal. "This is following several other incidents involving career-threatening and life-threatening headshots in the NHL recently."

Vandal noted the controversial issue is becoming bad for Air Canada's brand.

"From a corporate social responsibility standpoint, it is becoming increasingly difficult to associate our brand with sports events which could lead to serious and irresponsible accidents; action must be taken by the NHL before we are encountered with a fatality.

"Unless the NHL takes immediate action with serious suspension to the players in question to curtail these life-threatening injuries, Air Canada will withdraw its sponsorship of hockey."

Not only does Air Canada own the naming rights to Toronto's Air Canada Centre, it's believed they're a major corporate sponsor behind all six Canadian teams. Air Canada's head office is also located in Montreal.

Call me skeptical, but I wonder how much of this letter had to do with their head office being in Montreal, compared to the backlash of fans/flyers who choose West Jet because they aren't a major NHL sponsor? I might be naive in thinking that this is another case of head office pandering to the rationale and bias-free Montrealers.

AND THEN

Finally the Montreal Police got involved (via TSN)

Law enforcement got involved following a request by Quebec's director of criminal and penal prosecutions, Louis Dionne.

A spokeswoman for Dionne said that, after seeing television footage of the incident, he issued a recommendation to the provincial Public Security department that an investigation be opened.

The department then forwarded the file to police.

"The police investigation will be held. Like all police investigations, evidence will be gathered and an investigation report will be submitted (to the DCPP)," said spokeswoman Martine Berube.

"(The DCPP) will then evaluate to see whether there's grounds for prosecution."

Asked what kind of punishment could be assessed in a case like Chara's, she replied: "It's too early to say. That would depend on what charges are laid. That's a little difficult to predict at this point."

The move came amid a burst of outrage after the National Hockey League declined to suspend Chara.

Earlier Wednesday, Dionne's own office downplayed talk of a criminal investigation but hardened its tone hours later when the league announced no sanctions would be taken.  

I wonder if the Police in Montreal would have investigated this hit if it was a Boston Bruin on the receiving end? I'm sure the police would have been inundated with calls from Montreal fans livid that an innocent Bruins player was so maliciously attacked on the ice.

To me this is clearly a case where passion and biased emotion has taken charge. Politicians, Air Canada and the Quebec police are pandering to the highly emotional Canadien fans. I will be very surprised if any of these three factions follow through on their threats. Sure there will be an investigation, but I don't see any charges coming.

Air Canada has made their point with their Montreal flyers and I don't see them pulling their sponsorship, while the politicians will jump on the next hot topic very quickly and we won't hear from them until another borderline hockey hit, where a Canadian-based team has one of their players injured.

PARTING SHOT

Check out this Jack Johnson hit on Ryan Smyth. 

One of the biggest arguments/complaints surrounding the Chara hit is that he knew where the "turnbuckle" was and deliberately drove Max Parioretty's head into it. Did Johnson do the same thing here? Outside of Don Cherry showing it on CBC was it ever talked about as much as the Chara hit?

I know Smyth had the puck, but many of the Chara haters suggested his hit was intentional, so was Johnson who was facing the "turnbuckle" just as guilty?

I love hockey, and I love how passionate Canadians are about the game, but in this case too many people have overreacted and have made it more personal than rationale.

That is disappointing. 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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gabbana007 wrote:

What no-one hear realizes is that the score at the time of the hit was 4-0 Montreal with less than 15 seconds on the clock (perfect timing for some retribution). The video being circulated over many media outlets is clear: The puck was long gone. Chara looked up, saw Pacioretty and with his arms, pushed him deliberately into the turnbuckle. A careless, reckless and dangerous play that has no place in hockey.

What no-one else failed to mention was that the last home game Montreal beat Boston, Pacioretty scored than skated towards Chara and they engaged in pushing and shoving. A reporter, working for Boston, was interviewed after the game and he said that Pacioretty should watch himself or else (a clear threat if you ask me).

Finally, the NHL is run by clowns. Maybe more companies need to take a stand and withdraw money from the NHL.

The puck was 1.5 seconds gone. And who really cares what a reporter said. Them saying something doesn't make it a threat.

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#52 book¡e
March 10 2011, 01:25PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Ray Ferraro said it exactly how I think of it (god I love him as a color guy). It is ridiculous to think that Chara purposefully turn-buckled him, that would take immense skill, timing, and a murderous intent.

I totally disagree and wonder if Ferraro ever played the game (note:I know he did). Do Goalies intentionally stand in the way of the puck, do players ever deflect shots to score goals?

How could it be that players are capable of slit second decisions, but then not be aware of something like pushing someone into a turnbuckle (something that happens relatively slowly compared to a lot of things on the ice). Of course, he could not line it up from 20 steps away (which is what Ferraro was talking about), but once there, he made the decision to give the guy a massive shove right into the turnbuckle (and it was a shove, not just a hit). So, while I don't think it is premeditated in the sense that he planned it for a long time, I do think that he made a last minute decision to nail the guy - even if he regretted it moments later.

With that said, I think the nature of the game has to be taken into account and that 'last second' decision making is tough and that players are asked to really 'punish' other players, but then are also asked to not hurt them seriously. Its a difficult game in that regard.

I am sure he didn't want to break the guy's neck, but I am pretty sure he knew that he was going to really cream the guy and that the turnbuckle was there.

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#53 Anon
March 10 2011, 01:26PM
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The way I see it...if I get in a car accident and it's my fault, then I pay the price. It doesn't matter what my intent is. True, if I intentionally ram the person, then I get a harsher punishment. But even if I don't intentionally do it, and somebody is seriously injured or killed due to my actions, then I still pay a price, possibly even jail time.

You may say that car accidents don't equate with hockey hits. But to me, there is something fundamentally wrong with a sport if an incident like this can occur and NOTHING happens. There are no consequences whatever. People say this was just a "hockey play"? Well, then maybe there is something wrong with hockey.

For the record, I'm not a Montreal fan. But I am curious as to what the response on this board would be if this had happened to one of our young stars.

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#54 NateBaldwin
March 10 2011, 01:27PM
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I'm not a Habs fan and I'm thrilled to hear that a sponsor is (even if it's only posturing) considering withdrawing because of the way that the NHL handles suspensions. Their approach is inconsistent and laughable at best, and this incident with Chara exemplifies the NHL's unwillingness to punish for the sake of deterring.

No one but Chara will ever hope to know what was going through his head. I'm willing to believe that given his record and his character he probably had no intent to injure Pacioretty. But the notion that any player, let alone a 13 year veteran, doesn't know where the stanchion is, is absurd.

What concerns me most is that the lack of a suspension leaves the door open for this kind of hit to happen again. Frankly this incident has brought to light two other instances (Ennis, Smyth) that as a casual hockey fan I wasn't even aware of, although they further my point. By not making any attempt to deter this type of play (past of present) or modify the arenas to make this type of play impossible, the NHL is really pushing their luck.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, sooner or later an NHL player is going to die on the ice. It may be from a play like this, or it may be from something less preventable. Hockey is played on the hardest surface of all, at a faster pace than most others, and every player has two blades strapped to their feet. It is truly and accident waiting to happen, but some of these accidents can be prevented. While it is not solely the responsibility of the NHL to address the preventable ones, inaction on their part sends the message that the game is more important than those who play it. If I were a sponsor I'd take issue with that too.

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#55 book¡e
March 10 2011, 01:30PM
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Champ wrote:

One thing that I haven't heard mentioned is if there's a safer way to make that corner. If there have been some pretty major injuries because of that corner, they should research ways to make that safer. In football, they put that huge ring of padding around the goal posts. Maybe a similar idea could be used in the NHL.

There are lots of ways to do this, their could be a short angle put in place (as opposed to a basic 90 degree corner), more padding would help, but an angled corner would really help (so from above it would look more like 1/4th of an octagon than 1/4th of a square).

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#56 Starving Student
March 10 2011, 01:32PM
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freeze wrote:

I hope this issue doesn't dominate The Jason Gregor Show today... I'm kind of sick of it echoing through the halls of sport.

bbb?

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#57 Slapshotzky
March 10 2011, 01:35PM
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Mike wrote:

So you agree with Gregor, but can't help yourself by whining that if you don't he will question you? You just proved why you are a poster like us, and not a host/writer. I'm amazed at how patient Gregor is with many of the dimwit callers and posters like you.

It's his job to listen to dimwitted people, and smart people, fat people, and short people. It's what his job requires. I don't always agree with him. When you don't agree with him I've noticed he takes it personal. That's just my observation. Not a fact. If he's tired of us fans, then maybe he's needs to find a different job. Oh and he doesn't just question your opinions, he likes to throw in little condescending, and belittling digs at the poster to enrage them. He's very condescending in this format, far more here then on his program. Drives his points home like a dictator...again just an observation. Maybe that's his new radio personality. Maybe he does it for effect, much like his adopted jim Rome silent pauses. Dissent is the highest form of patriotism no? I love my oilers, and I'm allowed to be justafan, even if I don't have justagame. That all being said I think Gregor is still finding his way in the radio world, still polishing, still working hard. No more Mr nice guy is the vibe I'm getting from him these days. Maybe that whats listening to guys like me for 7 years will do to ya haha. But what the hell do i know right?

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#58 Woogie
March 10 2011, 01:36PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Unfazed by Air Canada’s threat to take it millions in NHL sponsorship elsewhere, Commissioner Gary Bettman told the airline that teams might opt to fly with another airline.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/bettman-unfazed-by-air-canada-sponsorship-threat/article1937056/

JeffMarek The 6 NHL teams spend between $2.5 - 3.5million per season each on Air Canada (AC JTZ) flights

HAHAHA!!!

Air Canada should be the last one to talk about business practises.

I said that night there should not be a suspension. Smid's hit from behind was far more violent IMO than Chara's. I'm shocked Smid didn't get a GM and a suspension. I think he is lucky Chara's incident was the same night!

If Chara's hit would have occured on any other place on the ice this would be a non issue. As for Smid's it is dangerous anywhere even open ice.

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#59 baggedmilk
March 10 2011, 01:43PM
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Maybe we should all start watching Table Tennis - player injuries are far less frequent.

Who's coming with me?!?!?!

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#60 Oilcruzer
March 10 2011, 01:44PM
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I have a different take.

He could have eased up. There is no way I am buying that Chara didn't know where he was blah blah blah. It was one of those "how fortunate a location for the hit... this will be even better!" as he pasted the player - and only after did he realize it was a bad idea.

Here's the difference. The NHL is in a pickle. If they say it's intentional, they open the player and the league and their insurers up to litigation.

If they say it's a fault of design... same thing.

So - it just becomes "one of those things that happens in the game" with no real blame vetted out.

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#61 Crooked
March 10 2011, 01:47PM
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If Chara were a Canadiens player and Pacioretty was a Bruin, this would receive exactly 10 seconds of coverage. This whole thing has been blown way out of proportion by people who should not be getting involved.

The injury is unfortunate, but the play itself wasn't dirty. It was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It wasn't an infraction worthy of a suspension, just really bad luck. Nothing more.

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#62 everton fc
March 10 2011, 01:51PM
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Is it me, or did fewer guys get hurt like this back in the 70's and 80's? Bossy, Gretzky... Goulet... Savard... Others... I don't remember all these career-ending concussions and extremely dirty hits. Semenko kneeing the odd guy during a fight, stuff like that... But you had guys on the ice that would police that sort fo stuff, and it wasn't always the "goon", if you know what I mean? By losing the culture of policing itself (Bertuzzi's actions against Moore was not "policing"), did the league open itself up to head-shots and situations like these by simply changing the rules to change the culture?

I think the concept of re-engineering that area of the boards is a good one. But it doesn't erase the blatant elbows and head shots we see nowadays.

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#63 Captain Obvious
March 10 2011, 01:52PM
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The NHL has demonstrated that they are unable to police themselves. If they are unable to police themselves it is the responsible of others to do the policing.

Arbitrary justice creates a vacuum that is filled from below by retribution (see Gillies) and by above through tyranny (see Government). If the NHL had done the right thing and suspended Chara this conversation wouldn't be happening.

It is an upside down world when Gillies gets suspended for 10 games for nothing but Chara gets nothing for ending someone's career.

The real villains however are Mike Murphy and Colin Campbell. This is their fault and they should be held accountable.

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#64 forestscooter
March 10 2011, 01:54PM
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I don't agree with what is happening and feel sorry for mostly max and his family but also now chara. I think chara is becoming a victim of the leagues slight incompetence. Why not wait to hear maxs statement before making a ruling ? Why not wait a couple days and listen to input from all sources including the fans and media ? Why not use that time to issue a formal statement with the intent of assessing safety engineering of rinks around the league ? In my mind the quick decision created some of this tension. Nowadays even in the most basic industry like a warehouse results in a 48 hour investigation and recommendations to help prevent the incident going forward.

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#65 OilFan
March 10 2011, 01:57PM
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The Hab fan's are embarrassing !!! I can hardly watch a montreal hockey game since the fan's boo the ref's on every play. The Canadians are a diving team and play with big mouths i.e PK . I do hope the kid gets better and is able to play hockey again. Didn't Max Pacioretty hit Eaton with INTENT. Montreal seems to forgot that one

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#66 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
March 10 2011, 01:58PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

Maybe we should all start watching Table Tennis - player injuries are far less frequent.

Who's coming with me?!?!?!

Table tennis is much too violent. It scares me as a man, with all that slapping and whacking of balls.

I'll take my chances and watch bowling.

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@everton fc

The knowledge on concussions wasn't what it was back then, so concussions weren't always known when they happened. The other thing is every game is on TV nowadays. Add twitter and the internet and people are getting a hold of these incidents a lot sooner than they once did.

20 years ago if someone got hit like this one. Where would people see it? Other than the people at the game there is a good chance no one else really would see the footage, unless the game happened to be on TV. You also didn't have the public outcry like years ago, because if you wanted to complain you couldn't exactly turn a switch on and type your thoughts within seconds.

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#68 gcw_rocks
March 10 2011, 02:05PM
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book¡e wrote:

I totally disagree and wonder if Ferraro ever played the game (note:I know he did). Do Goalies intentionally stand in the way of the puck, do players ever deflect shots to score goals?

How could it be that players are capable of slit second decisions, but then not be aware of something like pushing someone into a turnbuckle (something that happens relatively slowly compared to a lot of things on the ice). Of course, he could not line it up from 20 steps away (which is what Ferraro was talking about), but once there, he made the decision to give the guy a massive shove right into the turnbuckle (and it was a shove, not just a hit). So, while I don't think it is premeditated in the sense that he planned it for a long time, I do think that he made a last minute decision to nail the guy - even if he regretted it moments later.

With that said, I think the nature of the game has to be taken into account and that 'last second' decision making is tough and that players are asked to really 'punish' other players, but then are also asked to not hurt them seriously. Its a difficult game in that regard.

I am sure he didn't want to break the guy's neck, but I am pretty sure he knew that he was going to really cream the guy and that the turnbuckle was there.

Agreed. These guys have amazing reflexes and its their job to know where they are on the ice.

The NHL's statement should have read:

All NHL players are accountable to know where they are on the ice, and the potential consequences to thier fellow players when they hit, push or otherwise physically engage with another player. Regardless of intent, Mr. Chara should have known where he was on the ice and the potential consequences of running the player into the turnbuckle.

The NHL cannot condone such actions and therefore suspends Mr. Chara for 15 games. Furthermore, the NHL wishes to reinforce to all players that risking the health and safety of other players through such actions will lead to suspensions of equal or greater length for all future transgressions.

Anything less is grossly irresponsible and a sign of a league totally out of touch with society and its fanbase.

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#69 rubbertrout
March 10 2011, 02:06PM
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I like soup.

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#70 Dan the Man
March 10 2011, 02:15PM
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everton fc wrote:

Is it me, or did fewer guys get hurt like this back in the 70's and 80's? Bossy, Gretzky... Goulet... Savard... Others... I don't remember all these career-ending concussions and extremely dirty hits. Semenko kneeing the odd guy during a fight, stuff like that... But you had guys on the ice that would police that sort fo stuff, and it wasn't always the "goon", if you know what I mean? By losing the culture of policing itself (Bertuzzi's actions against Moore was not "policing"), did the league open itself up to head-shots and situations like these by simply changing the rules to change the culture?

I think the concept of re-engineering that area of the boards is a good one. But it doesn't erase the blatant elbows and head shots we see nowadays.

Just because they didn't ever check for concussions in the 70's and 80's doesn't mean they didn't happen.

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#71 everton fc
March 10 2011, 02:20PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Just because they didn't ever check for concussions in the 70's and 80's doesn't mean they didn't happen.

I know. Just seems to me fewer players missed whole seasons back then. Fewer careers ended.

It's a tough situation.

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#72 CupBoundCanucks
March 10 2011, 02:22PM
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This was a rare occurrence in the NHL, but the league needs better rules in place for instances where players are driven into turnbuckles or open gates intentionally. Those plays are just as dirty as headshots and don't tell me players don't know where the glass/benches are. How many years does a pro player spend in a hockey rink?? It is absurd to think they don't know the dangerous areas of the boards.

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#73 blue31
March 10 2011, 02:29PM
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OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM wrote:

Part of being a Pro in the NHL is to go 100%. If you want to see people lay off on their hits I'd suggest watching womens hockey.

Wrong. I don't think you understood my comments. Where did I say players should lay off the hits?

Part of being a Pro in any league is knowing 100% when to use the full force of your strength. Does it make sense to fire a slapshot from 10 feet in front of the net, because it's your hardest shot? Does a pitcher picking up a ground ball rifle a 110mph fastball to first base to get the runner out? Do you pull out a driver when you are 4 feet from the pin? Just because you can?

Are you suggesting that every hit has to be administered with the full force that a player is capable of? That a player who got rid of the puck two steamboats ago needs to be destroyed, because that's "going 100%"

That is different from my feeling that a hit should be given appropriately. If the only way to separate a strong player like Ovechkin from the puck is to put him through the boards, I'm good with that.

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#74 Rogue
March 10 2011, 02:31PM
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If you look in the Sun today, the pic clearly shows that Pac is ahead of Chara AND Charas left arm is up and pushing Pacs head.

It is clearly a head shot and with the rules in the NHL today, he should of been suspended. If Chara had rubbed him into the boards Pacs may still of hit his head. But maybe not.

I think Chara knew what he was doing. If you watch the replay he rubbed him with his body and THEN elbowed him in the head. It did not all happen at the same time.

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#75 Nieuwy25
March 10 2011, 02:44PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

I like soup.

Really rubbertrout???

Was it the 3 beers at lunch that made you come up with this one?

Besides, the soup on the Air Canada flights is terrible.

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#76 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
March 10 2011, 02:51PM
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@blue31

Let's use your sports analogy against you. When a Running Back is blasting through the line should a linebacker just grab his jersey and hope it takes him down? No, you drop your shoulder, make contact at full force, wrap him up and drive him to the ground.

Will players take slapshots being 10 feet out from the net? Yep, we've seen them do it on breakaways and in shootouts.

Will a 2nd baseman throw the ball as quick, hard and accurate as possible to first after a tag up to make a double play? Sure do.

With the new NHL and players not being able to interfere with obstruction hooking etc. I fully expect them to hit as hard as they can. Long ago kids were taught to hit just to separate the man from the puck, nowadays if you're playing Major Junior and you let up on players you may never make it to the next level.

Going 100% means putting your all into it. Guys may lay off if they see the numbers, or now because of the blindside rule they may lay off if the guys head is down. There is no way they are going to lay off on the force of contact along the wall. Like it or not, that's the way it is. Look up Hal Gill vs Jon Sim, look up Jack Johnson vs Ryan Smyth. All of these hits are the same and are a part of hockey. Should any of them let up on the contact? No, because how would it look if they took it easier on the player and got beat wide and a goal was scored. Could you see Gill going back to the bench and saying, sorry I got beat wide and we might lose because they scored, but I didn't want to hurt the guy. Give your head a shake.

If MP wasn't a Canadien or severely injured there wouldn't be nearly as much debate over that play.

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#77 gabbana007
March 10 2011, 02:51PM
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@OilFan

Point taken however, the unfortunate reality is in the facts: if Montreal fans, as you say, boo the ref's on every play, than why are the Canadians the second most penalized team in the league? Are the refs purposefully calling penalties so than the fans can boo some more?

Watch any game and the refs are selective with the calls they make. See Chicago v Vancouver or Vancouver v LA in last year's playoffs. So many bogus calls against Vancouver and when Vigneault or Gillis complained to the league, the media jumped on them and said they were whiners.

Regarding P.K. he can take care of himself.

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#78 gabbana007
March 10 2011, 03:00PM
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@OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM

But where does the responsibility come into play here?

Was it necessary to shove his arm into Pacioretty's head, thus forcing him into the stantion?

No way can anyone say that Chara is not the culprit. By pushing Pacioretty into the stantion, he disregarded the safety of the player. He could have rubbed him out or hooked him or held him instead. No, he decided to disregard the puck, look up at Pacioretty and annihilate him into the stantion.

Pathetic!

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#79 baggedmilk
March 10 2011, 03:03PM
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@OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM

You're a smart guy, you should write for JSBM.

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#80 Pucker
March 10 2011, 03:06PM
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Back in the WHA days I went to game Oilers vs Houston. My grandpa actually flew in from Vancouver so he could come and see Gordie Howe play. Well back then the Oil had some checker. I think his name was Bill Lang. Long straight hair. Tall. Lanky. No helmut.

He was skating along side Gordie, yakking at him and as they passed the Oiler's bench, Gordie leaned his elbow on Bill's head. WHAMO - into the stanchion. Bill did a 360 or 540 before he hit the ice. He didn't appear to be any worse for wear. It was more funny than scary.

Anyway, that was the first time I seen that happen. Howe didn't get a penalty but I'm sure he (and Chara) are well aware of where these stanchions are. This Chara hit was more scary than funny.

These two incidents are very indicative of how the game has evolved over the past 30 years.

I really thing there should be rule covering these types of plays, whether intentional or not - and a suspension of some sort. Particularly when a player is seriously hurt. There needs to be a sliver of respect for other players in the game.

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#81 OilFan
March 10 2011, 03:14PM
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@gabbana007

P.K can take care of himself ? Oh yeah like in his fight with Lupul when it was obvious Joffery was taking off his helmet and P.K jumped him and after the fight when the ref split the fight up P.K didn't have the marbles to look Lupul in the eyes. Had this hit happend to a Boston player by say Hal Gill nothing would be said by Montreal poice and Air Canada. Booing the ref and USA anthem is classy

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#82 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
March 10 2011, 03:16PM
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@gabbana007

How do you know that it wasn't Chara's intention of holding him up with his arm? Sure it looks like he's "guiding his head" but as a defenseman he may have just been following through with his rub out.

How many times in Big Z's career has he gone out of his way to blatantly cheap shot someone? Zero.

You're right, he didn't go for the puck after MP chipped it by him because HE WOULD HAVE BEEN BEAT if he did. Instead he played the man so that MP wouldn't have a breakaway. Chara's responsibility is to his team and helping them win games. If Smid was in the same position and rubbed his guy out but instead only got 2 minutes for interference but benched the guy would you still complain? Didn't think so.

Again, the injury is terrible but sh%t happens.

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#83 dawgbone
March 10 2011, 03:39PM
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Anon wrote:

The way I see it...if I get in a car accident and it's my fault, then I pay the price. It doesn't matter what my intent is. True, if I intentionally ram the person, then I get a harsher punishment. But even if I don't intentionally do it, and somebody is seriously injured or killed due to my actions, then I still pay a price, possibly even jail time.

You may say that car accidents don't equate with hockey hits. But to me, there is something fundamentally wrong with a sport if an incident like this can occur and NOTHING happens. There are no consequences whatever. People say this was just a "hockey play"? Well, then maybe there is something wrong with hockey.

For the record, I'm not a Montreal fan. But I am curious as to what the response on this board would be if this had happened to one of our young stars.

Your analogy would make sense if you could define what the driving definition of a clean open ice hit is.

You can't compare a contact sport to an incident happening while driving. In hockey you can go for a hit and make a mistake. You shouldn't be going for hits while driving (though if you are from Alberta that might be different).

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#84 Raoul Duke
March 10 2011, 03:51PM
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Jeremy S. wrote:

While everyone in Montreal was calling the cops complaining about a hockey game, 2 murders were committed, 3 people were robbed and a bank robbery happened. Thanks for using up those lines, I am sure the cops have nothing better to do then cater you children.

Everyone? I really doubt that the entire city was calling the police. Aside from a few bozos, I'm sure that most people in Montreal did not call the cops.

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#85 Bryzarro World
March 10 2011, 03:52PM
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To you people that are using the excuse that the game is played "lightning" fast so he didn't know what he was doing.... please stop making me laugh.

Lets start off with the positioning. You telling me that he has no clue where he is on the ice? He has never been to a game before and doesn't know where the benches are? Doesn't know that there is glass seperating the benches? He isn't aware of where he is on the ice? If you believe that you are dumber that what you are making him out to be. Playing 13 years I am sure he knows or he has a severe mental problem.

Now you are gonna listen to Gregor's "mind reader crap".. Please. Then any video evidence in any trial or case should be thrown out cause nobody knows at anytime, anywhere what someone else would be thinking. He knew where he was.. didn't finish a check but pushed him into the turn buckle and veered off. The puck was long gone and wasn't trying to seperate anything from anyone. Maybe he didn't know who the exact player was but that doesn't matter. Doesn't matter who it was.. it was a cheap ass play deserving of a suspension.

The fastest computer known to man is the human brain. It can handle and compute more that you or I can even fathom. So Chara is mildly retarded now? Were his senses over stimulated? LOL.. he was just skating... that's all. Was he flying a F-35? Was he involved in a docking to the space station? Those are tasks that take all your senses and concentration. Are hockey players that stupid? They can't skate and be aware of their surroundings at the same time?

Chara might not have known it was him but he knew full well what he was doing.

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#86 FastOil
March 10 2011, 03:52PM
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Don't forget the seamless glass so all of the Americans who don't really like hockey can see better.

There is no flex in it, and a large percentage of head injuries I am sure are the result. The turnbuckle especially. The boards used to sway somewhat after big contact, that little bit of give really lessons the force of impact.

Players used to play with concussions, but the thing is a lot of guys suffering them these days CAN'T play even if they wanted to - the symptoms are too severe. I think they are often worse injuries because of the new glass, gladiator style "pads", speed, size, conditioning, everything. Especially respect.

I hope that the league becomes forced to make legitimate efforts to properly protect players, through fan and corporate sentiment.

Especially since I think the Oilers brass have bet on it based on who they have drafted over the last years - we need the help on the brutality/injury front.

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#87 OilFan
March 10 2011, 03:53PM
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@dawgbone

Good point about the driving but you mistake Alberta for Saskabush and Manitoba. (brutal drivers )

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#88 mayorpoop
March 10 2011, 03:54PM
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@OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM

The debate people are having shouldn't be on this hit agreed. It should be on the body of work of a league with grey guidelines. To me the reaction to the Chara hit is symptom of a problem deep rooted with NHL management. The lack of consistency, the convluted nature in which decisions are based and the inability to establish concrete rules and responsibilities are my concerns. Note that the NHLPA is as much to fault as the NHL itself.

Intent (in this context)is an ambiquous word which has no clear definition. Scrap intent have black and white rulings and be firm, then and only then will the sport be safer for players and better for families to attend.

By the way does the CHL not a clear and concise policy on headshot particularly? Pretty sure they do and thats still good 100% hockey.

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#89 Tayranchula
March 10 2011, 03:55PM
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Chara knew who he was hitting and Chara knew where he was but he didnt no it was going to cause this bad of an injury and neither did Bertuzzi when he attacked former rival Steve Moore. Pacorietty and Chara have a history of getting at one another and Chara was just playing along with the rivallry but ended up going a little to far and seriously hurting someone.

This is kinda of like that movie Rivers Edge when the kids are planning to creating a prank on one kid but instead the kid drowns in the river. It was suppose to be harmless fun but an accident happened. Im not buying one bit that Chara didnt mean to take him into the boards hard or even the turn buckle for that matter but he just didnt mean to fracture his vertibrae.

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#90 jaicee
March 10 2011, 03:55PM
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The best part about criminal law is that suggesting that action shouldn't be taken on the grounds that another hit (which didn't almost leave someone dead) didn't have action taken against it will not act as a defense.

Ryan Smyth wasn't almost killed by this hit. Yes he was injured, however, there is a significant diference. Is Smyth still playing?

I am NOT a Chara hater, and I love the NHL. However, the fact that a man was almost killed on the ice from a blatent attempt to hit a man head first into the boards was not even questioned as inapprorpiate by the league. Chara obviously did not mean to break MP's neck, I'm sure he just wanted to throw him into the stention.

Would a reasonable person, whom has played hockey on rinks for the past 15 years, and whom understands that these stentions exists, expect that shoving someone's head into the stention would not cause severe damage to another? Good luck trying to prove that one.

Bettman suggested that anywhere else on the ice it would have been a clean hit. EXACTLY!!! However, the fact that it did happen is why we are having this discussion right now. Bettman is smrt.

Further, he is calling this an accident? Shoving someone's head directly into the glass is an accident? I thought maybe falling awkwardly was an accident. Purposely smashing someone's face into the glass when he had a choice (should i, or shouldn't i under these conditions) is not an accident.

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#91 Slapshotzky
March 10 2011, 04:06PM
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Doesn't this article, and the many others like it, prove that the system is broken? We are all turning into lawyers now. Save the players at all costs!

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#92 DC
March 10 2011, 04:18PM
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Derzie wrote:

Gregor, you sir are in a juvenile minority. This ain't MMA son. This isn't just about Chara, it's about Crosby, Richards, Savard, Moore and every other thing that taints hockey for fans. Keep the :being entertained by human suffering" to your MMA where it belongs.

Then I am in that minority too. This is about Chara and Pacioretty. Where was Ignatief when Savard was crunched? Or Richards? or Crosby even? ....Oh that's right, they're not Habs players are they? Did anyone say charge Steckel he hurt Crosby? Nope. (Not that I heard anyway) This is crazy, that was a very violent hit. It was not a dirty play though. It sucks he was hurt bad, but a hit like that is clean. 10 feet further up the ice and everyone is praising Chara for finishing his check so well.

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#93 OilFan
March 10 2011, 04:19PM
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Toronto must be so mad that Montreal is getting all the media attention

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#94 Hemmertime
March 10 2011, 04:21PM
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@book¡e

99% of the time a push from there ends up with the player hitting the glass or slowing up. It was an away game, Chara surely pays attention to where 30 turnbuckles are and lengths of benches.

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#95 jeanshorts
March 10 2011, 04:22PM
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Just a couple quick points;

I'm with you on the Air Canada thing (well I'm with you on the entire thing). As soon as I saw the guys name was Denis Vandal from Montreal I pretty much discredited the entire letter as nothing more than another riled up Habs fan looking for some kind of retribution.

And I love that whenever a player gets hurt on a freak play/accident, hell, even if it's Matt Cooke throwing another hit from behind, that so many people come out of the woodwork screaming "THE NHL SHOULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS!!!!!" As if Gary Bettman was supposed to jump down from the rafters and throw his body in front of Pacciorety's to absorb the brunt of the impact? Give your head a shake. There's laws that forbid murder, rape, theft, drunk driving, etc, yet these things happen EVERY SINGLE DAY! I don't understand why people think the NHL is any different. Accidents happen and unfortunately there's always going to be people that break the rules. Nothing is 100% preventable.

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#96 FastOil
March 10 2011, 04:34PM
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My two cents on Chara - he meant to run Pacc into the turnbuckle. He's a rough guy, just one of those things that pops into the head as the play unfolds, especially given the recent history.

Did he want to cause great harm - no. Did he cause great harm - yes.

The thing is to turn the culture back to what it was 15-20 years ago, through serious repurcussions for negligent, dangerous play, "intended" or not. There have always been Gary Suters around head hunting (serious deliberate injuries to Gretzky and Kariya), but at least only a few at a time, and

The thought/impulse to push Pacc like he did (and others do) wouldn't be there nearly as much as it is. It certainly won't ruin hockey to tone it down a few notches back to contact that is mostly play related - it didn't hurt the game before.

Yes there were instances of crazy, but by and large things were more civil, play related and equally as competitive and watchable. Maybe more so because serious injuries are disturbing to watch and for me take away from the quality of the game.

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#97 Wax Man Riley
March 10 2011, 04:48PM
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Easy solutions:

Pacioretti needs to understand he was going against Chara, a big, tough, Norris trophy winner, and he needs to be aware of where he is.

This is a tough game and the players get paid a HELL of a good HAZARD PAY. More per week than most of us make in a year.

************************************************************************

The game is too fast:

Why not put up radar speed cameras to fine players that skate too fast. It will slow down the game and give players enough time to think about every little move

The puck is too hard:

Make the puck out of MemoryFoam(tm) so slow the puck down and help eliminate injuries to the face and teeth. Wisniewski would not have been hurt, Laperrier would not have been hurt, COGLIANO would not have been hurt, Pavelec and every goalie would be safer.

Skates are too sharp:

Make all players skate with protectors on so players like Burish, Zednik, Gaborik, and GAGNER would not have been injured.

Sticks are too hard:

Make sticks out of wet noodles so they can't hurt players if there is an errant stick

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#98 jaicee
March 10 2011, 04:49PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Just a couple quick points;

I'm with you on the Air Canada thing (well I'm with you on the entire thing). As soon as I saw the guys name was Denis Vandal from Montreal I pretty much discredited the entire letter as nothing more than another riled up Habs fan looking for some kind of retribution.

And I love that whenever a player gets hurt on a freak play/accident, hell, even if it's Matt Cooke throwing another hit from behind, that so many people come out of the woodwork screaming "THE NHL SHOULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS!!!!!" As if Gary Bettman was supposed to jump down from the rafters and throw his body in front of Pacciorety's to absorb the brunt of the impact? Give your head a shake. There's laws that forbid murder, rape, theft, drunk driving, etc, yet these things happen EVERY SINGLE DAY! I don't understand why people think the NHL is any different. Accidents happen and unfortunately there's always going to be people that break the rules. Nothing is 100% preventable.

No one asked Bettman to prevent someone's face being smashed into the boards.

US congress, the Canadian Liberals, millions of fans, the fammily of MP and police are just curious why the NHL simple stated that there was nothing wrong with the hit.

Your last paragraph is interesting but completely off topic.

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#99 Wax Man Riley
March 10 2011, 04:51PM
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GET A GRIP!!!!!!!

It is HOCKEY!!! FAST, HARD, TOUGH.

Go play women's hockey (no offense ladies, I love watching women's hockey) if you don't want contact. Or go play in Europe.

To what extent do we woosify hockey?

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#100 jaicee
March 10 2011, 04:51PM
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DC wrote:

Then I am in that minority too. This is about Chara and Pacioretty. Where was Ignatief when Savard was crunched? Or Richards? or Crosby even? ....Oh that's right, they're not Habs players are they? Did anyone say charge Steckel he hurt Crosby? Nope. (Not that I heard anyway) This is crazy, that was a very violent hit. It was not a dirty play though. It sucks he was hurt bad, but a hit like that is clean. 10 feet further up the ice and everyone is praising Chara for finishing his check so well.

Again, they didn't almost die.

When a player is almost killed from a viscous hit, and the league sends a message loud and clear that there was nothing wrong with that hit... there is a problem.

The distinguihing fact between your examples and this one... they didn't almost die!

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