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Zdeno Chara’s hit leaves Max Pacioretty with severe concussion, fractured vertebrae

Mar 9, 2011, 1:21 PM EST

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Max Pacioretty AP

While Zdeno Chara participated in a noon conference call with the league regarding the horrific hit he delivered, Max Pacioretty remains in the hospital hoping to recover from the fallout. Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Martin announced that Pacioretty is suffering from a severe concussion and fractured fourth cervical vertebrae (that is not displaced), according to TSN.

Martin said that Pacioretty will be out indefinitely.

Obviously, such an injury will keep Pacioretty out for a significant amount of time, although there’s no read on how long that might be. It seems that the chief concern at this time is his overall health; his status as a future player will be determined some other time.

Hopefully Pacioretty can play again, because the 22-year-old forward was showing some serious potential. He produced four points in his last four games and 14 goals an 10 assists for 24 points in 37 games overall.

Meanwhile, the severity of Pacioretty’s injuries probably heighten the chances that Chara will face a pretty stiff plenty from the league (read Joe’s take on the NHL’s awkward position here).

Here’s video footage of the hit for your own perusal. Warning: it can be pretty tough to watch.

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