On Tuesday night, at the Bell Centre in Montreal Zdeno Chara delivered a hit on Max Pacioretty that is now being investigated by the Montreal Police department; even though the NHL did not issue any suspension because of the incident.Here is a link to a video of the incident as well as some background information for anyone who may not have seen what happined: http://sports.espn.go.com...
I am arguing that the Montreal Police do not have the right to investigate this incident simply because of the fact that the sport of hockey is in its deepest levels a dangerous game and proving that Chara had malicious intent would be nearly impossible. Players in the NHL, as well as any other professional athletes in a contact sport, are aware of the fact that every time they step on the ice they may potentially be injured. I feel that the reaction from the Montreal police department is motivated by the severity of the injuries that Pacioretty sustained and had he walked away from the incident no one would think twice about investigating the situation. Pacioretty himself has even said since the incident that while he feels the NHL should have suspended him, he does not believe that he should be prosecuted. Pursuing criminal charges against Zdeno Chara would set a precedent that will completely challenge the way that hockey players today approach the game solely because of an isolated incident, in which malicious intent cannot be proven.
The Montreal police should look into this because it was such a malicious hit that caught everyone attention. When you actually look at the hit, he was intentionally pushed into the wall which clearly shows that someone like Chara was trying to end the career of another NHL player. You also have to remember that Chara is also seen as a dangerous player and this is not the first time he was looked at for checking someone. You have to remember that earlier in the NHL season he was one of the ones who help put Sidney Crosby on the sideline with a concussion. Unless the Montreal police look at this, then other players in the NFL will eventually start hitting more people harder also.
Players are intentionally pushed into the boards in hockey all of the time, it simply comes with the territory of being a hockey player. Nothing about that hit shows malicious intent on the part of Chara. The pace at which the players skate combined with the sheer force of how powerful Zdeno Chara is are the factors that led to Pacioretty to hit into the turnbuckle like that, not malicious intent on the part of Chara. The fact of the matter is that unless the NHL comes up with some way to redesign the bench area to prevent this from happening the players must assume the risk that if they skate along the boards they might wind up getting checked up against that wall. It is certainly sad that Pacioretty sustained these injuries, and I would hope that the NHL does decide to take a second look at the design of the bench area but what happined was simply an accident and I do not feel that Chara should possibly face criminal charges for playing hard and it leading to an accident like this.