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Wednesday March 9, 2011 4:13 pm

Zdeno Chara receives no supplemental discipline for hit on Max Pacioretty




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Injuries, NHL,

Zdeno Chara Hits Max PaciorettyMontreal’s Max Pacioretty got a severe concussion and a broken neck. Boston’s Zdeno Chara got nothing. This was the outcome after Chara checked Pacioretty into the turnbuckle in Tuesday’s game between the two bitter rivals. Chara got a five-minute major for interference and a one-game misdemeanor because the NHL rulebook calls for it if the receiving player is injured. But no supplemental discipline is going to the Bruins’ monster blueliner. Pacioretty, on the other hand, may never fully recover, let alone play hockey again.

Senior VP of hockey operations Mike Murphy doled out the ruling on Wednesday in place of Colin Campbell (why Campbell wasn’t in charge of making the decision is a completely other irrational point of discussion). Murphy said that other than the interference, Chara did nothing to warrant additional punishment, and this is the biggest problem with this decision. Murphy – and thousands of fans – have already said that they all believed Chara did not “intend” to injure Pacioretty.

It’d be ridiculous to believe that Chara “intended” to nearly kill Pacioretty or not. The fact is, he laid the hit and he should face a consequence. You never hear anybody say “I didn’t ‘intend’ to start that 40-car pile-up” and get off scot-free. The law does not base punishments purely on intent, but more so on results. Why is the NHL any different? Chara shouldn’t have the book thrown at him, but no supplemental discipline is an insult against Pacioretty, the Canadiens, and advocates for safety everywhere.

Whether the questionable “history” between Chara and Pacioretty had anything to do with the hit – and it probably didn’t – is irrelevant, as is the actual location of the hit on the ice. The problem is that too often in sports, not just the NHL, we see things like this happen and ask ourselves why the environment wasn’t safer after the fact. Nobody knows if padding on the turnbuckle or even a different design would have lessened the injury to Pacioretty, but the lack of protection whatsoever implies that more than just Chara are responsible, and you can expect the league to be held accountable if and when Pacioretty decides to pursue legal actions in the future.

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