Case dropped against Chara

Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara will not be criminally charged for his hit against Montreal Canadiens'...

Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara will not be criminally charged for his hit against Montreal Canadiens' Max Pacioretty. (ERIC BOLTE/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:53 PM ET

No criminal charges will be filed against Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara for his violent hit March 8 on Montreal Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty.

Quebec's director of criminal and penal prosecutions closed the case Thursday, saying that after examining all the information there wasn't enough evidence to establish Chara's guilt.

Pacioretty suffered a fracture of the fourth vertebra and a concussion after he was rammed into a stanchion along the boards at the Bell Centre by the hulking Bruins defenceman.

Prosecutors ordered police to investigate after watching video replays.

Pacioretty missed the rest of the season while Chara -- who was not suspended by the NHL for the hit -- went on to win the Stanley Cup with the Bruins.

Montreal police investigators travelled to Boston in July to question the 6-foot-9, 260-pound Bruin. Pacioretty and some Canadiens players provided statements.

RECCHI RIPS CANUCKS

Retired Bruins forward Mark Recchi tore a strip off the Vancouver Canucks during an appearance on a Boston radio show Thursday.

"They are the most arrogant team I've played against and the most hated team I've ever played against (during a 22-year NHL career)," Recchi said on the Sports Hub.

"I couldn't believe their antics, their falling and diving (during the Stanley Cup final last spring). It was very frustrating but ... as the series wore on we knew we were getting to them and we knew our physical play and our skating ... caught them off guard a little bit."

The Bruins defeated the Canucks in a seven-game series to win the Cup.

It's worth noting Recchi is a B.C. native. That might not go over too well in his hometown of Kamloops, where there is a street named after him.

YAKUPOV TOPS LIST

Nail Yakupov of the OHL's Sarnia Sting was ranked No. 1 among North American players Thursday in Central Scouting's preliminary rankings for the 2012 draft.

"He's a dynamic player who plays with offensive energy ... he wants the puck and he loves to score," NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr told NHL.com.

Yakupov has 14 goals and 27 assists in 21 games.

Scouting staff ranked the top 25 skaters and top goaltenders for the OHL, QMJHL, WHL and USHL. The international rankings for eight countries were also released, as was a "watch" list for those prospects starring in college.

Marr noted the rankings would be refined in a mid-term report in January.

ILL GILL HOSPITALIZED

Montreal Canadiens defenceman Hal Gill has been hospitalized because of a virus.

Gill has not played since last weekend and is expected to miss another week of action.

The loss of Gill and veteran Jaroslav Spacek (upper-body injury) has left the Canadiens thin on defence.

Gill, 36, has played in 16 games this season, drawing one assist.

SHANAHAN ADDS QUINTAL

Former NHLer Stephane Quintal, a defenceman who played in more than 1,000 games over a 16-year career, is joining the department of player safety as a manager, the league announced Thursday.

Quintal, 43, joins the safety group under the direction of senior vice-president Brendan Shanahan.

"Stephane was a physical defenceman who played the game with great passion and intensity," Shanahan said. "His insight and his ability to articulate our views will be a great asset to our department."

BRIEFLY

Retired Montreal Canadiens trainer and equipment manager Eddy Palchak died Wednesday night. He was 71. Palchak was with the club for 31 years and 10 Stanley Cup championships. In 1998, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society wing ... Oilers defenceman Cam Barker, 25, will have ankle surgery and could be sidelined for three months, Edmonton coach Tom Renney announced Thursday ... The next search for the most passionate hockey community starts Friday, when Canadians can file nominations for Kraft Hockeyville 2012. The winning town gets $100,000 in arena upgrades; an NHL pre-season game; and a CBC Hockey Night in Canada broadcast from their community ... Defenceman T.J. Brennan was called up Thursday by the Buffalo Sabres to replace Mike Weber (upper-body injury), who is out indefinitely.


Videos

Photos