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03-09-2011, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by remer View Post
You can add the following:

If Chara lets him go, Montreal has a two on one.

It is a freak accident that the timing is exactly at the turnbuckle of the rink.

It would be no different if a player hits someone along the glass and the glass shatters causing injury. The turnbuckle is what caused the concussion, not the hit.

Watch the Johnson's hit on Smyth. No suspension given.
Technically, you're correct, but that's no different than the following arguments:
  • The skate blade cut him, not the stomp.
  • The stick took out his eye, not the guy swinging it.
  • The boards broke his neck, not the hit from behind.

That defense that he is somehow not responsible for where he is on the ice or that his play was innocent because if it had happened on the other side is completely insane.

It didn't happen on the other side and this was not some moving part of the arena. I could buy it if Pacioretty had flown in an open door, that could just be horrible luck, but no, he hit something that Chara spent half the game sitting two feet from.

Now, I am not saying it was premeditated. I don't think it was attempted murder, I suspect at worst it was thoughtless. He likely just threw the hit and didn't really think about where he was standing.

We will never prove worse and given Chara's history, I'd say that he deserves the benefit of the doubt on that part.

That said, I do not believe intent should be factored in at all.

Accident or not, Chara just wrote the handbook on legally sanctioned homicide in the Bell Centre.

Chara may not be a mean spirited goon, but there are guys in the NHL who are and if the NHL hands Chara a slap on the wrist, they're totally handcuffed in two weeks when someone else finds themselves in the same situation.

God forbid we're beating the Flyers badly and Chris Pronger is on the ice after they've locked up a playoff spot. He'll decapitate some poor Habs winger and plead the Chara defense... and the league and media will be stuck with the precedent of Chara and have to buy it.

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