Pacioretty 'disgusted' with lack of suspension: TSN
Published Thursday, March 10, 2011 8:25AM EST
MONTREAL - Max Pacioretty's first interview since being badly injured in Tuesday night's game against the Boston Bruins reveals he believes defenceman Zdeno Chara's hit was intentional and merited a suspension.
"I am upset and disgusted that the league didn't think enough of (the hit) to suspend him," Pacioretty told TSN. "I'm not mad for myself, I'm mad because if other players see a hit like that and think it's okay, they won't be suspended, then other players will get hurt like I got hurt."
"It's been an emotional day. I saw the video for the first time this morning. You see the hit, I've got a fractured vertebrae, I'm in hospital and I thought the league would do something, a little something. I'm not talking a big number, I don't know, one game, two games, three games...whatever, but something to show that it's not right."
"I heard (Chara) said he didn't mean to do it. I felt he did mean to do it. I would feel better if he said he made a mistake and that he was sorry for doing that, I could forgive that, but I guess he's talking about how I jumped up or something."
"I believe he was trying to guide my head into the turnbuckle. We all know where the turnbuckle is. It wasn't a head shot like a lot of head shots we see but I do feel he targeted my head into the turnbuckle."
No disciplinary action against Chara
The interview follows the NHL announcement Wednesday afternoon that Chara will be neither fined nor suspended for the hit he laid on Montreal Canadiens' forward Max Pacioretty.
Chara drove a speeding Pacioretty into a post that holds the glass along the boards.The Bruins were trailing the Habs 4-0 at the time of the incident Tuesday night in Montreal.
Mike Murphy, National Hockey League Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations released a statement that read:
"After a thorough review of the video I can find no basis to impose supplemental discipline. This hit resulted from a play that evolved and then happened very quickly -- with both players skating in the same direction and with Chara attempting to angle his opponent into the boards. I could not find any evidence to suggest that, beyond this being a correct call for interference, that Chara targeted the head of his opponent, left his feet or delivered the check in any other manner that could be deemed to be dangerous.
"This was a hockey play that resulted in an injury because of the player colliding with the stanchion and then the ice surface. In reviewing this play, I also took into consideration that Chara has not been involved in a supplemental discipline incident during his 13-year NHL career."
Canadiens coach Jacques Martin says Pacioretty fractured the fourth cervical vertebra, which is not displaced.
"He remains under observation in hospital. There is no other prognosis at this time,'' Martin said after practice Wednesday.
Martin said his player will "obviously be out indefinitely.''
"The most important thing for our organization right now is Max's recovery," he added in a statement on the Canadiens' website.
"We will continue following recommendations from the doctors and of course, Max and his immediate family would appreciate privacy in this matter."
Team doctors say the fact that the vertebrae was not put out of alignment means there are likely no concerns about his spinal cord.
The Bell Centre crowd of 21,273 went into a hush Tuesday when Pacioretty's head struck the partition between the players benches after a hit from Chara with 15.8 seconds left in the second period.
Pacioretty lay motionless for several long minutes but seemed to be talking softly to a trainer before he was lifted onto a stretcher and taken to hospital for observation.
"What I remember about it was the sound _ it sounded like a gun: bang!'' said Pacioretty's linemate Scott Gomez. "Stuff like that is tough to look at.''
Growing questions about hockey violence
While some fans called the injury an accident, many at the Habs practice rink Wednesday morning in Brossard said they didn't approve of the hit.
The hit comes amid heightened concern about concussions in the National Hockey League.
Superstar Sidney Crosby remains on the sidelines after taking a serious hit during the NHL's Winter Classic in early January. Crosby returned following the game and was checked into the boards again four days later. He hasn't returned to the ice since.
Next week, when the NHL's general managers hold their annual meeting, the issue of how to handle concussions in players is expected to be a hot topic of discussion.
The news last week that former NHL enforcer Bob Probert had a degenerative brain disease has also stirred a debate about the safety of fighting in hockey.
with files from The Canadian Press