Another black eye for the NHL

The NFL is not a perfect league, but it doesn't shy away from taking steps to protect its players. They can be heavy-handed when fines and suspensions are handed out, but in the end it's for the good of the sport.

The NHL, on the other hand, often looks like a garage league. That Chara didn't even get a slap on the wrist for this cheap shot on Max Pacioretty is a disgrace. . . I love the Boston/Montreal rivalry as much as any hockey fan, and far be it from me to wish to take out the physical elements that make hockey such a great sport. But vicious shots like this one, which could have ended Pacioretty's career and his life, should be condemned.

Glad to see that a "History will be made" spoof has already been produced. Head shots have to addressed by the league before a tragedy takes place.

Shame on you, NHL...

12 commentaires:

saalon said...

Totally with you. I'm wondering if this is a sport I'll still be watching in a few years. I love hockey, but the Cup isn't supposed to be won by whatever players haven't been knocked out of the game by the end of the season.

And that "History Will Be Made" video is perfect.

Mavis said...

not that I think it was intentional. But carelessness is just as bad as trying to hurt someone many times. I am in favor of a rule that says any contact to the head that results in an (significant) injury is an automatic 2 game suspension. Excluding fighting, if both players are willingly dropping the gloves.

Lowkey said...

Something a Montreal fan would say, Chara's hit in no way was intentional, to know this all you have to look at is Chara's clean history in the league. I think the punishment was just fine, however if it was someone like Pronger or Cooke a suspension would be warrented.

Erik Huntoon said...

It's a really tough call in my mind as to if this was truly intentional or not. I had not seen the angle that was in this video from up high and behind the bench until just now. I originally was of the impression that a) Charra was finishing a check and b) Max P seemed a bit unaware how close to the turnbuckle he was. But that reverse angle certainly shows a pretty clear shove right at the end by Charra. What none of us can know is his intent. With no glass there, Max falls inward to the bench and the shove looks much more severe than if this was against the boards. Really tough call.

I do have to agree with Lowkey.. there are some players with a distinct history and Pronger and Cooke are great examples. In the end, I think we can all agree that this could have been much worse, even in light of how badly Max P's injuries are.

GunMetalBlue said...

Lowkey, are you seriously DEFENDING Chara?

F***ing Seriously?

It was cheap if I ever saw it, and completely disgustingly unnecessary.

Would you sing a different tune if he'd have died?

My gf's sister is a chiropractor, she says that a hit like that in a slightly different way or inches different could have KILLED him or paralyzed him from the neck dfown.

Don't come on here and be beligerent and say that the guy's history is clean. I don't care.

Now pay attention (cause I'll say this once): THE RULES AND PENALTIES APPLY ACROSS THE BOARD. I don't care if the player is an angel or a devil when they play. You pull cheap DANGEROUS shit like this, you get suspension, end of story.

It's supposed to be a sport, not threaten the taking people's lives.

Anonymous said...

"Shame on you NHL".....but make sure you show a comic video spoof on the hit.

Every time the NHL starts to gain a little, garbage like this happens. Crosby's assailants got away unpunished, and a great ambassador to the game, my never be in top form again. Then this crap. Whether Chara's hit was intentional or not, he tried to ram a guy's head into the boards, and this is the result. Until the NHL wants to evolve out of the stone age, this is the crap you get.

Patrick said...


The Boston Globe ran a poll the next morning, and I believe it was 58% of Bruins fans thought Chara deserved a suspension.

Intent has nothing to do with it. As is the case in the NFL, intent or a repeat offender only means a longer suspension and/or fine.

I cheap hit like that should warrant a 10-game suspension. About 25 if there is intent to injure another player. Hand out a few of those, and all of a sudden you'll see that players have a much better control over their actions and head shots will be in steady decline.

Just look back at the 70s, when violence in hockey was such that today it would be considered about as bad as MMA. There were basically no head shots in those days, and most players didn't even wear helmets. The checks were just as hard as they are today, yet the players were less protected than they are nowadays.

To maintain that it's hard to know when you're going to it when you finish your check is utter bullshit. Anyone who has ever played can tell you this much. If the league could man up and take action, head shots would become a thing of the past. Crosby is done for the year, and even that won't shake the NHL out of its torpor.

As long as disciplinary measures are minor or absent, then the NHL will remain a garage league that does nothing to protect its players.

I heard that some sponsors have left the NHL after the call was made yesterday. Maybe that will help move things forward...

Anonymous said...

Check out the video of Brian O'Driscoll getting his shoulder ruined in a rugby match a few years back. While the guys who did it weren't punished harshly enough, the rules were changed afterwards - any dangerous professional sport needs to keep adjusting its rules.The players get bigger and faster and adapt to get an edge, if they're not controlled, people get badly hurt.

amysrevenge said...

2 games would suffice, for a dude who's not on Colin Campbell's Fave Five cell phone plan. Matt Cooke? 10 games.

Zero is a disgrace though. I reckon even if a Lady Bynger like Datsyuk laid a hit like this it's worth at least 2 games.

Unknown said...

Patrick, funny I didn't see you blogging about cheap hits when it was Pacioretty cheap shotting and absolutely destroying Mark Eaton a couple months back...

Love your blog, by the way. :)

Nolan Giesbrecht said...

No solid opinion on this hit, but the comparison to the wonderful NFL is absurd. I'm not a huge fan of the NFL [or even very knowledgable] but I do know that the league does not care about its players.

It is the most dangerous of the sports, players die young, and often have serious medical problems - yet they don't even have health care after their career.

Now owners want them to play more for less money?

The NFL sees the majority of its players as fungible assets - its the jersey that is important not the player [obviously there are exceptions...]

Ami Angelwings said...

I am so with you on this and I'm so glad to see more ppl speaking out, esp in other forums about this. This is so outrageous! And I know it's an "accident".. but it's reckless.. he should know where he was.. (ppl in the wake of the incident, like Glen Healy of HNIC were complaining that Pacorietty should have known.. if HE should have then surely CHARA did also... besides if you have no idea where you are on the ice you would be a very bad hockey player) and if you're reckless and dangerous, and something horrible happens CUZ of it, you're STILL responsible.. it's like reckless driving in real life... if you don't kill nebody, you're lucky, if you DO, you get charged and punished. And Bettman's response was hilarious... esp following his meek whining at the Goldwater institute to leave the NHL alone xD He's threatening Air Canada and as usual saying the game is fine the game is fine the game is fine. >_<

@Nolan Giesbrecht The NFL cares more about it's players than the NHL does. Football in itself is a dangerous game, but they've changed the rules to protect players and remove certain plays (the crackback block, tried to get rid of spearing this year) and changed the rules IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEASON. The NHL doesn't even think of that. There's always handwringing, whining about Americans, talk about how to be Canadian is to take this sort of hit, navel gazing about the state of the game, how we can't change nething.. etc etc...

The point isn't that the NFL is perfect or anywhere NEAR so.. but the NHL could learn a lot from them. Even with possibly no season this year, their competition committee still changed a few rules. Every year they do... with hockey, every rule change is this big huge thing with handwringing and ppl complaining and screaming about slippery slopes and the commissioner being defensive and whiny and EVERYTHING IS FINE DON'T LOOK BEHIND ME, or "you can't change the game, the game is perfect". -_-

And I'm in no way defending the way the NFL treats it's players. I mean just look at this current CBA.. they have tons, they want more, and they'll sacrifice the players for it. The avg career is 3.5 years and you won't get pension or medical until 4. And that SAYS A LOT about the NHL, that such a league as the NFL is STILL leaps and bounds ahead in terms of rule changes than the NHL.