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Poll results: PHT readers think Zdeno Chara deserved a significant suspension

Mar 12, 2011, 10:45 AM EDT

Max Pacioretty Zdeno Chara AP

There are some hits that are blatantly illegal and dirty, but then there are some that walk a strange, vague line. Even the angriest Montreal Canadiens fan should be willing to give Zdeno Chara this much: it was an incredibly unfortunate moment that did indeed expose a design flaw in a handful of NHL arenas.

Benefit of the doubt aside, the league’s handling of the situation wasn’t exactly a boon for public relations. It’s a real shame that hockey only tends to make mainstream news when something bad happens rather than when Alex Ovechkin scores an amazing goal, but for the most part, that’s the sad truth.

So it’s in this climate that we’ve seen Max Pacioretty‘s head hit that stanchion over and over again, like the latest puck-related version of the Zapruder film. While the PHT staff seemed unanimously in favor of some kind of suspension for Chara, it only seemed right to take the temperature of everyday hockey fans. With that in mind, we asked how the NHL should have handled the situation. Check out the poll results below.

(click to enlarge)

The best way to break down the results is into two categories: pro-suspension and anti-suspension. The biggest winner was a significant suspension (seven games or more) with about 33.5 percent. Overall, about 71.5 percent of readers thought Chara deserved some kind of suspension.

That being said, it’s not like the NHL’s decision was without its supporters. More than a thousand (1,116) of the 4,577 people who voted said that the league made the right call.

So the consensus is that Chara deserved a suspension, with most wanting a pretty hefty one. Still, with that many votes – the most of any poll in PHT’s year of existence – it’s clear that the hit is subject of serious debate.

  1. derpdederpdederp - Mar 12, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    right, because the people who read this blog know as much or more about hockey than all the experts and former players who have come out and said the league made the right choice. the fact is the play was worth an interference penalty and thats what chara got (a 5 minute one no less). to suggest that the league should be suspending players based on resulting injuries is beyond ridiculous. the league needs to focus on getting matt cooke style cheapshots out of the game, and this was not one of those. good job by the league for once, they made the absolute right call. any bleeding heart fan or journalist that doesnt like physicality and disagrees with the leagues decision needs to find a new sport to watch, like tennis or curling. if you guys at PHT think this play deserved a suspension you should start blogging about a new sport because you obviously dont know enough about hockey

    • 66wow99 - Mar 13, 2011 at 10:14 AM

      ahhh no. why do you assume that players or “experts” know better? they don’t. can you say, “old boys network”? I’d rather listen to guys like mario lemieux, who actually had TALENT to play the game, who said he’s prepared to leave the game behind because of the idiocy taken place in this once great game. you know the game’s in trouble when all you here about is concussions.

      there’s no fun in watching a big. clumsy dope like chara purposely push/slam another player into a turnbuckle. grow up!

      • derpdederpdederp - Mar 13, 2011 at 12:15 PM

        experts know better because that is their livelihood, its their job, its what they do. why do you think you know better? you definitely dont. all you hear about is concussions because the game is too fast and the bleeding heart media wont leave the issue alone. check the stats, concussions arent up. if you think chara did this on purpose you really should watch more hockey before making such an idiotic comment. guys have hit the turnbuckle before but now that theirs an injury everyone wants a suspension. when you start suspending players based on resulting injuries thats when the game is really in trouble

  2. 66wow99 - Mar 15, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    Oh you’re probably talking about the kind of “experts” who destroyed the american economy in 2008. those kind of experts, right? you’re probably talking about “experts” like mike milbury (terrible former hockey player) who’s an analyst on tsn and nbc who thinks a shot to the head is every bit as entertaining as a great one-on-one rush. that kind of expert, right?

    why is it that it’s the low level players (and fans who failed as players) who say “problem, what problem?”

    buddy, talk to mario lemieux, wayne gretzky, and sidney crosby and NOT to guys like carcillo from the philadelphia flyers. In fact, the 3 superstars i mention would be delighted to school the uninitiated like you.

    Oh, btw, gary bettman from march 11 did indeed admit that concussions are way up. look it up not just belch out BS because you think I won’t check.

    and again, watch the replay, fool. Chara “guided” pacioretty’s head with his big, dumb, elbow into the turnbuckle DELIBERATELY.

    • derpdederpdederp - Mar 15, 2011 at 11:49 PM

      what does the american economy have to do with this? for the record, i think mike milbury is betond idiotic and whay he is allowed to spew his worthless opinions on both cbc and nbc is beyond me. im actually talking about experts like the tsn panel, ron mclean, don cherry, and coutnless others that have taken the logical side of this issue. bruce boudreau is another name that comes to mind. “if you dont like it dont come to the game.” wise words.

      i dont understand how anybody can think this play warranted a suspension. watch the coachs corner video. this isnt the first time someon ehas slammed into the stanchion, its just the first time such a serious injury was the result. however you cant start using injuries as the basis for suspensions. that sets a dangerous and unwanted precedent that any play, clean dirty or in bewtween, could get you suspended if you urt the player youre hitting. ive actually looked into this, and there are articles dating back to the 90s that talk about the problem of consussions in hockey. unfortunately they are an unavoidable part of hockey. if you watch any panel discussions in which knowledgable experts are taking part (like the ones on HNIC) youll hear them say that concussions are not up. sorry to break it to your high and mighty self but you are wrong, and no amount of name-calling will change that.

      if you think chara did this deliberately your entitled to your opinion but chara is not the kind of player to intentionally try to kill another player. but think what you want. all i know is that there is more hockey knowledge in ron mcleans bald spot and don cherrys beard than there is in either of our entire bodies, so i tend to value their opinions more than yours and others like you. when they side with the league that just reinforces my belief that the league handled this situation appropriately

  3. 66wow99 - Mar 16, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    trust me, i had to restrain myself from calling you worse…

    u said experts know better because that’s what they do. I simply called you on it. you can find an “expert” on anything and 50% of the time s/he will be proven wrong.

    to me, the opinions of great players who play/ed the game trump anything that guys like cherry or maclean say. and almost to a man, these superb players rebuke what’s taking place in hockey today. I like cherry’s schtick purely for it’s entertainment value, but for the most part, he’s full of crap. ron maclean is merely a talking head who reads the hockey news like you and me and happens to be a good orator. (i like him btw.)

    again, the sheer number of concussions say otherwise. these are cold, hard numbers. the numbers are UP; not down, BUT UP.(gary bettman acknowledges this is so). countless of so-called hockey players will quietly tell you that they have to do what they have to do to stay in the league. i think you can read between the lines.

    • derpdederpdederp - Mar 16, 2011 at 11:38 AM

      uh oh, i guess i better watch myself, i wouldnt want to get called something worse than “fool” over a hockey forum. that one caused a lot of pain, i dont think i could handle something worse…

      i think our idea of experts is differing. im referring to the guys on the tsn an hnic panels, while you seem to be talking about american no- nothings like milbury. don cherry may act like a goof but he knows his hockey. ron mclean has spent the majority of his life in and around the game, he is not just a talking head that reads what we read. i dont think you watch enough hnic if your opinion is so uninformed. those 2 guys usually have differing views, so when they agree i tend to think that is a valid consensus.

      i think bettman was inder pressure to say concussions are up and the league will deal with it because the bleeding heart media is reporting on them more and crosby is hurt. ill believe theyre up when i see these numbers you speak of.

      however, the issue at hand is the chara hit. i didnt hear anybody (including gretzky) speak out against the play, with the exception of the habs and their sponsors. no coachs, players, or gms came out strongly against the play. that reinforces my belief that the league made the right call. but hey, these guys are only involved in the game 24/7, that doesnt mean they know more than you, right?

  4. 66wow99 - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    1.) crosby, lemieux, and gretzky have indeed spoken up. pay atttention, okay?

    2.) nobody, but nobody tells bettman what to say or do, okay? he just doesnt roll that way. (just pay attention to the phoenix coyotes fiasco. you’ll learn everything you need to know about bettman)

    3.) it’s very easy to become smug when you don’t play the game; that includes “experts” and the like. meanwhile players who can play the game CAN’T because an increasing amount of fools like the chara variety can’t seem to figure out that guys like crosby puts fannies in the seats.

    • derpdederpdederp - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:42 PM

      thanks for the advice but i have been paying attention and i havent heard any of them come out specifically against the chara play and how the league handled it. i fyou could show me those articles or quotes that would be great

      im no fan of gary, in fact i think the nhl would be exponentially better with anybody but him running the show. that being said im sure when all you hear reporters is talking about is concussions and the face of the league is out with one that puts pressure on him to acknowledge a problem. from what ive been hearing concussions are not in fact up, but i would love to see these “sheer numbers” you speak of

      again, you are completely ignorant of the experts i am referring to. the tsn panel is generally half former players and one insider who is also around the game 24/7 and therefore knows what those involved are saying and what the pulse of the league is. these guys know what theyre talking about. they are not being smug as you suggest. try watching them and maybe youll learn something

      you say there is a problem with “fools” like. by that do you mean respected norris trophy winners that have never been suspended and play the game the right way 99% of the time? the only fools in the league are guys like cooke

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