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Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Chara hit on Pacioretty
and the NHL's feckless response


By now we all know what happened, of course, but what's really telling is the sequence of events in the aftermath.

No surprise, the NHL won't suspend Chara. Is it cynical to suggest that it's because blood, guts and mayhem are an integral part of the entertainment package the league's trying to sell?

And that if Marc Savard's career is ended because of a head shot, or Sidney Crosby's never the same after a concussion, or Max Pacioretty has to be wheeled off the ice on a stretcher, well, that's just the way the cranium crumbles?

What's really got me going is the reaction from sponsors like Air Canada, BCE and Tim Hortons. Or more precisely, the context for that reaction. The worst part of this? Not the horrific injuries and shortened careers and entirely avoidable brain damage. Clearly the NHL and its owners and their little schmuck of a frontman are prepared to live with all that.

No, the worst part of it is that none of that seems to make any difference. But let the sponsors start musing about bailing, and all of a sudden everyone's taking it seriously.


Head injuries? Horrific stories about brain damage? Marquee players out of commission, possibly never coming back to what they were? Whatever. The teams can take different airlines.


(Could we maybe, finally, at long last, perhaps stop the continuing national embarrassment otherwise known as Coaches Corner? Please? Is Don Cherry really the best hockey mind we can cough up?)


  1. Honestly, there's an insanity to the whole of the professional hockey culture. A player gets his brains scrambled like an egg, and he'll turn about and say how it was just a 'hockey play'. That sounds like battered person syndrome.
    A player sounds off on the whole shebang with accurate criticisms, and suddenly the whole old boys club turns on him.

  2. It shall be interesting to see what Cherry has to say on Saturday night about the whole situation and I'm sure he will screw it up.
    A local TV anchor said last night "players routinely run others into the stanchion." but not on camera.

    It was reported by a local TV anchor yesterday in Toronto, that many players said they "use the stanchion purposely to drive players into it" but would not say it on camera. The thing is, now they can, because the league has green lighted it, and whenever it happens again "no suspension," very sad indeed, something should have resulted for his actions, although it may not have been intended. Even if they put glass completely around the rink, they could still have an "accident" when a player was thrown into an open door.
    Daniel .. Toronto, CANADA

  3. Kudos to you for even posting about this. Half the country is up in arms over it, but most of the left side of the blogosphere seems to be still fixated on how to get the electorate animated because Stevie swiped Iggy's podium. It helps explain those polls.

    Here is a pretty good take from the NP. This issue could revive anti-Americanism among conservatives, although most of the left is too snotty to care. I'd love to see some of our libertarian pals try to make the case that free markets in professional hockey lead to a better product.