Butt Man speaks:
Max has apparently been released from hospital as reported in Habs Inside/Out, and shouldn’t this photo, which has been making the rounds (and sent from Mike W. and much appreciated), be the final word on whether the gorilla intended to do this deed or not?
Police are investigating and the Black Day continues.
And this, a letter from Geoff Molson:
Letter from Geoff Molson to Canadiens fans
I would like to thank you all for your comments and support as the Pacioretty family, and our entire organization, deal with this difficult situation. I share your frustration, disappointment and shock. I feel for Max, the team and you, our fans.
Max, on behalf of my family, fans and all who are associated with this great organization, rest assured that we are all behind you and hope for a full recovery.
The Montreal Canadiens is an institution that has played a leadership role in this League and in our community for over 100 years, and you can count on us to continue to do so in the future. The news of the NHL decision yesterday was a hard blow for both the players and fans of the Montreal Canadiens. It was one which shook the faith that we, as a community, have in this sport that we hold in such high regard.
The Montreal Canadiens organization does not agree with the decision taken yesterday by the National Hockey League. We can assure you that we have made our position clear to Commissioner Gary Bettman, and that he has agreed to make this issue a priority at the next General Manager’s meeting, which will be held in Florida on March 14-16. Pierre Gauthier, our General Manager, will be present at this meeting and has already expressed his wish to carry out, clearly, our message to his 29 counterparts and to the League.
Our organization believes that the players’ safety in hockey has become a major concern, and that this situation has reached a point of urgency. At risk are some of the greatest professional athletes in the world, our fan base and the health of our sport at all levels. Players’ safety in hockey must become the ultimate priority and the situation must be addressed immediately. As a proud father of three hockey players, I want to help create a healthy and safe experience for them, and I certainly never want any family to go through what the Pacioretty’s are experiencing at this moment.
We understand and appreciate hockey being a physical sport, but we do not accept any violent behavior that will put the players’ health and safety at risk. On this specific issue, I am asking for the support of the 29 other NHL owners, to address urgently this safety issue. And I am willing to play a leadership role in coordinating this group effort.
You are the best fans in the league, and I am proud to have you behind us. Both the team and Max need your support now more than ever. A solid playoff run is just around the corner and we are counting on you to carry us deep into the spring!
GO HABS GO!
Chairman of the Board of Directors and Team Owner
Fellow blogger Yves (Yves on Habs) has turned me on to this turn of events. Air Canada, one of the league’s biggest and most important sponsors, is threatening to pull out entirely from their relationship with the NHL following the non-action regarding headshots etc. as witnessed Tuesday when Zdena Chara mugged Max Pacioretty, almost killing him in the process, and then walking away scot free.
The article involving Air Canada can be seen right here, from the Toronto Sun.
A 6’9″ locomotive smashes a player into a partition with the puck nowhere near, a blatant infraction, and the player goes down, out cold, with doctors and trainers scrambling to hold his head steady as he’s strapped onto a stretcher. The locomotive gets thrown out of the game, and it’s discovered that the receiver of the attack has suffered a fractured vertebra in the neck and a severe concussion.
If no names had come about and you were simply told of this occurrence, wouldn’t you think the 6’9″ locomotive might receive at least some kind of discipline because of his brutal actions?
Well, the rub is this. Big Zdeno Charo will play the next game, and the game after that, while Max Pacioretty lays in a Montreal hospital bed after almost dying and with the possibility that his playing days are in the distant future only if he’s lucky.
What did Pacioretty’s coach, Jacques Martin, say about all this?
“It is not our role to accuse. There was an incident that occurred and there have been other incidences. The league has to look at all those incidents that have had serious repercussions to certain players and I think at some point address it.”
Have we ever seen a less demonstrative coach in the NHL? Think of others, and go back as far as you want. Think of what Toe Blake would have said, and Scotty Bowman, and John Tortorella, and even Bruins’ coach Claude Julien. Any coach, even those with cool and calm demeanors, would have been furious, outraged, with fire in their eyes and expletives spewing from their mouths. Only Martin would come up with a calm, monotone answer such as “I think at some point address it.”
Mike Murphy, doing the disciplinary duties for Colin Campbell because Campbell has a son on the Bruins, didn’t feel Chara did anything worthy of a suspension. Then why is Max in a hospital bed, assaulted, when the puck was thirty or forty feet from him, and why was Chara even thrown out in the first place if the play was so innocent?
Chara was upset by the push Max gave him after Max scored the Habs winner previously? Wow. For those who haven’t seen it, Max fired it home and Chara, just in front of him, was pushed ever so slightly out of the way. Chara was supposed to apply payback for such an evil wrongdoing? Everytime I see a clip of this I ask myself what was so wrong with this little push. What a ridiculous thing for someone to get his shorts in a knot about.
Did Chara bide his time and finally pay back for such small thing in the first place? Did Chara, with his size, almost kill Max because Max gave him a little push that would barely move a small child?
It’s insane. Everything about this entire mess. TSN’s Bob McKenzie and all the rest of people out there who think there was no justification for a suspension have it wrong. A player the size of this Bruin must be responsible for damage done. Especially when the puck was nowhere near.
Thank God Max is alive and not paralyzed. And if one of these worse situations had actually happened, would Mike Murphy still allow Chara to continue playing the next game? Because what’s the difference between what happened and what could have happened?
Max Pacioretty – our young, long-legged power forward, considered one of the few untouchables on the Montreal Canadiens, rammed into the support holding the glass near the team benches by an overgrown slug named Zdeno Charo, with possible injuries I don’t care to think about.
If there is a God in heaven, please look after Max. And if the NHL does the right thing, they’ll take care of business regarding Chara. Now Colin Campbell or Mike Murphy, whoever it may be, needs to remove this guy for awhile.
Yes, the glass support did the damage. But it was a late and nasty hit, a career-ending type of hit, and Chara didn’t get a five-minute interference penalty and a game misconduct for nothing.
Now we wait.
And to Bruins fans, your team got their asses kicked and it began when Johnny Boychuk tried to do damage to PK Subban with a knee-on-knee, whereas Ryan White proceeded to thump the defenceman. I’m sure Bruins media and bloggers, as they always do in cases like this, will be saying Boychuk got the better of the deal, but not a chance. White cleaned his clock.
I ask all Habs fans – try to imagine PK Subban out for the season with a knee injury compliments of a dirty check. Try to imagine.
The Bruins lost the fight and they lost the game 4-1. And Brad Marchand, who was a goof with Team Canada Juniors a few years back, who made such idiotic plays that he was benched most of the time in the World Juniors, couldn’t get it done on his penalty shot. This, after whining beforehand that Montreal doesn’t play fair or some such nonsense. Just a mouth that roared who needs a series of knuckle sandwiches to improve his looks.
My stomach is in knots and my heart isn’t in it to write a long piece on how good the Canadiens looked on this night as they took out this pack of yellow thugs who have traded class for crass, and who were taught a big lesson. You lost. It wasn’t even close. And except for a lucky shot from another goof, the guy with the nose, it would have been a big goose egg.
Maybe we’ll meet you in the playoffs. Does it make you nervous? After all, isn’t that four wins and one loss for the Montreal Canadiens so far this year?
It was a great win, Lars Eller scored two, and now we wait.