Ottawa hockey fans all seem horrified by the hit Zdeno Chara delivered to Max Pacioretty in Montreal Tuesday, but there’s no consensus on what — if anything — should happen to Chara.
“I had a player get hit like that two weeks ago, but it wasn’t as hard, and luckily he didn’t get hurt,” said Neil Hoch, head athletic trainer for the Ottawa 67’s.
Hoch said Chara’s hit was a careless hockey play and thinks the NHL should have suspended him, but he said getting the police involved was going way too far.
“To charge someone for that is pretty aggressive. That being said, though, the Quebec police have been known to overstep the boundaries into the hockey world before.”
Ryan Kyle, a human kinetics student at Ottawa U, agrees.
“It’s not like (Chara) was trying to kill (Pacioretty), so why would the police be involved?”
Not everyone agrees.
“As a hockey player myself, the hit was disgusting and totally uncalled for,” said Ottawa U civil engineering student Daniel Kim. “I definitely think the police should get involved, it should be treated exactly the same as the Bertuzzi hit, there was a clear intent to harm in both cases.”
The hit has drawn criticism from fans, media, players, and even Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who spoke about the NHL’s need to address head injuries.
The Montreal Police officially opened the investigation Thursday, after being inundated with 911 calls from residents wanting to report the Chara hit.
Cops eventually had to issue a press release asking people to stop calling 911 and only use it for emergency purposes.
Ottawa Police declined to comment on the hit.
When asked if a similar situation could occur with the Senators here in Ottawa, police would only say they are compelled to investigate a formal complaint of a criminal incident.