When Is a Hockey Hit a Crime?

Police in Montreal are reportedly looking into a brutal hit by the Boston Bruins’ Zdeno Chara on the Montreal Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty.  The hit produced a major penalty and game misconduct, but did not result in a suspension, even though Pacioretty suffered a concussion and broken vertebrae.  I suspect the NHL’s failure to discipline Chara is one reason Montreal authorities are contemplating action.  According to ESPN, Pacioretty said he thinks the NHL let Chara off light, but thinks criminal prosecution would be unwarranted: “I have no desire for him to be prosecuted legally. I feel that the incident, as ugly as it was, was part of a hockey game.”

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