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. 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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
Avatar
#51 jaicee
March 10 2011, 04:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props
Wäx Män Riley wrote:

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?

To the extent that when the league turns it's back on a near death!

No one wants the game to change. They just want a suspesion and a message handed down when a players purposely smashes someones face into the glass. That is EXACTLY what Chara was trying to do.

Think of the message you are sending when you say things like that? You sould like a primative ape!

Avatar
#52 BBQSAUCE
March 10 2011, 05:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

@OilFan

WORD!!!!!

Avatar
#53 jeanshorts
March 10 2011, 05:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props
jaicee wrote:

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!

WHOA now, settle down. Pacioretty didn't "almost die". Yes he fractured a vertebrae and yes he got a concussion but to say he almost died is stretching this nonsense way too far.

He COULD have died, yes. Savard also COULD have died if the brain trauma was the slightest bit more severe. He could have had a brain hemorrhage, or internal bleeding or suffered brain damage. Like DC said, no one jumped up and down and caused a stink that Matt Cooke should be put on death row.

Richard Zednik/Clint Malarchuck COULD have died when a their throats were cut by skates. Again, no one came rushing out of the woodwork to say they need to ban skates. And Clint Malarchuck did almost die, he was literally seconds away from bleeding out. That's the closest anyone has come to dying on the ice since probably Ace Bailey.

Incredibly violent outcome for Pacioretty, but he didn't "almost die".

Avatar
#54 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
March 10 2011, 11:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

UHF MIGHT I SAY BACK TO BACK FISTS!?

Seriously a joke tho that this is being investigated because someone in high places is a Habs fan

Avatar
#55 Bryzarro World
March 10 2011, 11:35AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

the fist thing I thought of is that it's criminal to charge the prices air canada does

Stupid phone

Avatar
#56 Leopard
March 10 2011, 11:36AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

You might want to give some props to Puck Daddy today Gregor...

Avatar
#57 james_dean
March 10 2011, 11:40AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

chara is not a dirty player. 13 years in the leauge and this is the first infraction. the polititians should stay out of it. period. if it would have been an oiler player layed out it would be a different reaction. if you win quebecs vote you get into power ignatieff knows this.

Avatar
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

As for the Smyth hit and this one, I guess the difference is this one was deemed interference and that one wasn't. Either way 5 and a game is enough penalty for me.

Avatar
#60 Champ
March 10 2011, 12:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

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.

Avatar
#61 OilFan
March 10 2011, 12:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

This is ugly. I hope this doesn't screw up the game we all love!!!

Avatar
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
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.

Well that glass where MP was hit really doesn't need to be there in the first place. As for the other two turnbuckles maybe you remove a couple seats and round the corner like the corners on a NHL rink.

Avatar
#63 VMR
March 10 2011, 12:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

That play will happen every single time whether the turnbuckle is there or not. If Chara lets up Pacioretty is in on a breakaway and no d-man is just going to let that happen, not if he expects to keep playing in the NHL.

Redesign the rink so you dont have a flat surface perpendicular to the ice, they should try and do something about the doors to the benches as well.

Avatar
#64 Milli
March 10 2011, 12:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Ya, this is ridiculous!!

Avatar
#65 BrianSheva
March 10 2011, 12:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

In my opinion, i don't believe that Chara's actions was a gross violation of fair play and / or the spirt of hockey. As previous comments have suggested, the NHL needs to do a re-think on rink design and reduce the chances of having a serious or perhaps fatal injury occur due to a physical obstruction.

To me what Dale Hunter did to Pierre Turgeon (the body check after the goal 92-93) or Claude Lemieux destroying Kris Draper's face in 1996 were more offensive in nature.

The speed at which this game is played combined with the laws of physics would indicate that violent accidents will occur. I feel sorry what happened to Pacioretty and i hope he has a full recovery but i believe he was a victim of circumstances and perhaps poor judgement at best.

2cents

Avatar
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

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

Avatar
#67 Homie
March 10 2011, 12:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Dan the Man wrote:

I'd like to think that Chara had no intention of taking Pacioretty's head off.

I do think it was a reckless and dangerous play but I guess there are a lot of reckless and dangerous plays in hockey.

I also think players should be responsible for their actions regardless of intent.

If the NHL is serious about player saftey then plays like this one should result in suspensions.

Totally agree.

Avatar
#68 Horcsky
March 10 2011, 12:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Champ

Yeah, I'm kind of with you on this one.

People keep saying they know this 'turnbuckle' is a dangerous part of the rink. Maybe it's the design of this part of the playing area that should be rethought? It's not even on the ice and it poses a danger to players. Kind of a poor design if you ask me.

It's kind of a question of where the problem lies, with the dangerous players, or the dangerous stadium?

Avatar
#69 mayorpoop
March 10 2011, 12:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I accept that this game is fast paced and physical, I can even accept the fact a degree violence is part of its nature What I cannot accept is the indifference to change, to enact corrective measures, to be pro-active and less re-active.

This controversy is not simply because of a Chara hit for me. It is the epidemic that is consistently harming players, through dangerous hits, and uneccessary plays.

As soon as the league removes "intent" as a means for decision and the arbitrary process on how they decide, the game be safer.

Who knows how Campbell or whomever makes these decisions? There is no base to go from, no guideline or standard they seem to follow. They arbitrarily decide intent....stupid.

You have to remove the right to determine intent from the rule book. Make factual decisions, have clear cut rules. I will go as far to say based on injury sustained. Responsibilty.

The facts are people get hurt, whether they intended it or not...don't care...stick with the facts.

In light of Bettmans most recent comments I will no longer purchase any NHL merchandise until there is clarity on the state of the game.

Avatar
#70 Slapshotzky
March 10 2011, 12:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Hey Derzie,don't disagree with jason unless you want to have your p#* p#* slapped. Better get yourself a radio show to compete with his awesomeness, I'm gonna cover my virtual head from gregors virtual punches to the face now....duck for cover. By the way I agree with this article.

Avatar
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@mayorpoop

How much merchandise do you honestly buy? If fans want to prove a point, quite watching. I'm sure if all of Montreal quits watching for 1 game, things might change.

Avatar
#72 bretzky
March 10 2011, 01:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Great article Gregor, I agree completely this whole issue has become very disappointing. It's business' and politicians sucking up to emotional Montreal fans. I agree with the NHL's decision not to suspend Chara. And I hope Pac is alright

Avatar
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

You know on the busiest hockey forum on the internet only 27% believe Chara deserved 5+ games. The outcry on this situation is just ridiculous.

Avatar
#74 mayorpoop
March 10 2011, 01:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

How much merchandise do you honestly buy? If fans want to prove a point, quite watching. I'm sure if all of Montreal quits watching for 1 game, things might change.

Not much...does it have to be? A stance is a stance no matter the value involved. As far quit watching for a game done and done! I am a fan and I do help subsidize this league no matter how small that number maybe. WE as fans do make this league go it should not be forgotten.

Avatar
#75 Golden Seals
March 10 2011, 01:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

This type of injury is to be expected. Players today are big, fast and can create collisions that are downright scary.

30 years ago, players I would guess weighed on average 25-30 pounds less than today. Factor in less speed and softer equipment and the chance of this type of injury was very rare.

Players today also have no fear. Why challenge Chara along the wall. This is a giant of a man who size alone should deter such attempts.

For me, the NHL and NFL both have the same problem. Bigger, faster players and head injuries as a result. Maybe it`s time to look at the size of the playing surface rather than a host of new rules.

Avatar
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
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.

Avatar
#77 NateBaldwin
March 10 2011, 01:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

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.

Avatar
#78 Starving Student
March 10 2011, 01:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
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?

Avatar
#79 Slapshotzky
March 10 2011, 01:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
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?

Avatar
#80 Woogie
March 10 2011, 01:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
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.

Avatar
#81 Crooked
March 10 2011, 01:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

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.

Avatar
#82 everton fc
March 10 2011, 01:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

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.

Avatar
#83 forestscooter
March 10 2011, 01:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

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.

Avatar
#84 OilFan
March 10 2011, 01:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

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

Avatar
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@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.

Avatar
#86 Dan the Man
March 10 2011, 02:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
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.

Avatar
#87 everton fc
March 10 2011, 02:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
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.

Avatar
#88 Nieuwy25
March 10 2011, 02:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
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.

Avatar
#89 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
March 10 2011, 02:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@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.

Avatar
#90 gabbana007
March 10 2011, 02:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@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.

Avatar
#91 baggedmilk
March 10 2011, 03:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM

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

Avatar
#92 OilFan
March 10 2011, 03:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@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

Avatar
#93 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
March 10 2011, 03:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@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.

Avatar
#94 dawgbone
March 10 2011, 03:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
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).

Avatar
#95 Raoul Duke
March 10 2011, 03:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
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.

Avatar
#96 FastOil
March 10 2011, 03:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

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.

Avatar
#97 OilFan
March 10 2011, 03:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@dawgbone

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

Avatar
#98 mayorpoop
March 10 2011, 03:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@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.

Avatar
#99 Tayranchula
March 10 2011, 03:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

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.

Avatar
#100 jaicee
March 10 2011, 03:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

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.

Comments are closed for this article.