By Shawn Muller–
The hit that Zdeno Chara put on Max Pacioretty that caused the Canadiens’ player a severe concussion and a broken vertebra was not meant to intentionally cause harm.
It was a freak accident.
So many parties are up in arms about the hit, but as far as I am concerned—and the NHL league offices are concerned—what happened on the ice, while unfortunate, did not warrant further penalty. Chara was ejected from the game and that was it. He has not been suspended and he shouldn’t be. A hit happened, an injury occurred, and life goes on in the world of hockey. I am not trying to sound insensitive towards Pacioretty. I wish him a quick and speedy recovery and I hope that he lives out the rest of his life as healthy as humanly possible.
But he plays hockey for a profession. This isn’t chess.
Hockey is a violent sport and the risk of injury is there every time a player takes the ice.
Apparently, the folks in Montreal Canada are having a hard time grasping this concept. Instead of treating the injury for what it is, the folks of French-Canada felt it was necessary to open a criminal investigation into the incident. I am sorry, but forgive me while I take a moment to laugh at this.
A criminal investigation into what, exactly?
It is not like Chara made it a point to single Pacioretty out, tail him down the ice, and slash him in the face with his stick when Pacioretty wasn’t looking. There was nothing criminal about it. The hit was the result of an unfortunate mistake.
That is it.
If the police involvement was not ridiculous enough, apparently Air Canada—the official airline of the National Hockey League—is considering severing ties with the league if they do not make a conscious effort to alter the rules to make the game safer for the players.
I am all for the safety of the players, but who is Air Canada to tell the NHL what they should or should not be doing? Do they really think that the NHL can’t find another airline that would be willing to take their spot if they want to step aside? With the soaring cost of air fare and gas prices, Air Canada should be thanking its lucky stars that it has the NHL as a client. If you want to bite the biggest hand that feeds you, Air Canada, go right ahead, but losing the NHL would hurt your business a lot more that it would the NHL…
All of this because of one hit?
The league office decided not to suspend Chara because they did not feel that he was intentionally trying to hurt Pacioretty, so why is there such an outcry against the Boston Bruins defenseman? He is not known around the league to be one of the “goons.” All in all, many consider him to be a pretty low-key kind of guy.
Should he have been suspended for the hit? Maybe. I guess that all depends on how “sincere” Chara was about harming Pacioretty. To me, I feel like it was a simple case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time for Pacioretty.
If Chara’s hit were to have occurred at any other place on the ice, I can almost guarantee you that Pacioretty would be playing in Montreal’s next game, Air Canada would still love the NHL, and the Montreal Police Department would still be sitting at the station waiting for an actual crime to take place.
Am I wrong? I highly doubt it…
Do you agree with Shawn? Post your comments below.
Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24.