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Zdeno Chara might still face criminal charges in Montreal

Oct 26, 2011, 3:08 PM EDT

Max Pacioretty Zdeno Chara AP

It’s almost been eight full months since Zdeno Chara hit Max Pacioretty into a Bell Center stanchion, breaking Pacioretty’s vertebrae and forcing him to miss the remainder of the season. Since then, Chara’s won a Stanley Cup while Pacioretty returned to the Canadiens lineup, emerging as the team’s leading scorer this season.

Yet when Chara heads to Montreal this Saturday to face the Habs, the big defenseman will have a cloud hanging over his head.

According to the Canadian Press, Quebec’s director of criminal prosecutions still hasn’t made a decision on whether to lay criminal charges over the Pacioretty hit.  The Montreal police concluded their investigation in August (delays were partly caused by Boston’s Stanley Cup run and police waiting to investigate Chara) but Crown prosecutor Jean-Pascal Boucher said his office continues to study the file. This despite the fact several legal experts have deemed it “highly unlikely” that Chara would be prosecuted.

In a weird twist to this story, Pacioretty might be unable to exact his revenge against Chara and the Bruins. He suffered ligament damage in his wrist on Tuesday against Florida, an injury that could keep him out of Montreal’s next three games — tonight versus Philadelphia, Thursday in Boston and then Saturday’s highly-anticipated affair.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 26, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Good grief!! I thought this had finally gone away. Montrealers, give up the whining already. It’s not like it’s gonna help you win a game or anything

  2. icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 26, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    This is baffling. It was a hockey play. In a hockey game. Since when does law enforcement get involved in NHL matters? Is this really how Montreal treats hockey? I don’t think so but more informed people would know more…

    • arsement - Oct 26, 2011 at 5:56 PM

      My sentiments exactly. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this story.

      So now NFL players have to worry about being too rough because in addition to a fine from the league there is the prospect of actually going to jail for a play you make in a sporting contest?

      Get real.

  3. danphipps01 - Oct 26, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    Oh for God’s sake. And people call Vancouver fans nuts. The original riot city apparently got tired of losing fights with riot police and decided to go crawling to them for help jailing the players that kick their asses instead. Brotip: the “imprison players better than yours” strategy still won’t break your Cup drought, Francophones.

  4. bertilfox - Oct 26, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    If not for the presence of the turnbuckle, it wouldn’t have even been considered a check, much less an assault worthy of criminal prosecution. There was no malice a forethought. Montreal played this thing out for way too long. Get a life, Habs fans.

  5. bostonbruinsfan33 - Oct 27, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    The chances of Chara facing charges because of this are about the same as the chances of me ever considering rooting for the Canadiens. There is a ZERO percent of either happening.

    Unless it’s drug-related or a crime that actually has a chance of being proved, the police in the U.S. and Canada do not need to get involved in anything related to sports PERIOD. I feel bad for what happened to Pacioretty, don’t get me wrong, but this whole thing is ridiculous, both the police investigation and the fact that this is still a hot topic.

  6. carol6645 - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Chara deserves a criminal charge. Most of the Boston Bruins deserve criminal charges! Matt Cooke is doing every thing he can to change. The bruins think it is their prerogative to attack every one every where without penalty. 10 games + gave Cooke time to change. Give the Bruins a little TIME! Doing time would suit them fine and maybe a FINE is another avenue to take a peek at! If they are in a league of their own they deserve special treatment!! That doesn’t mean kid glove treatment. All other teams better put them in their place until their TIME comes!

  7. carol6645 - Nov 17, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Just a footnote. Forget Police charges! They don’t belong. Doesn’t Montreal know Police are mostly criminals as well! Forget that nonsense. The NHL is powerful. Shanahan needs to DEFEAR himself of the big bad Bruins. Stand up to them and never believe lies. Lucic smirks after that hit on Miller then he smirks after getting away with murder! He’s laughing all the way to his next kill. Boston mentality!

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