The biggest debate in all of hockey right now, is the Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty and has taken me a few days to really mull over the video of the hit.
For those who somehow missed it, here’s the video…
First you must look at the head shot rule as it is called rule 48 of the NHL rule book a lateral or blind side hit where the oppenants head is the target now this hit was a lateral hit but not a blind side hit. Pacioretty and Chara were both going for the puck in the neutral zone. Pacioretty started it as a clean by the book hit but because the hit took place by a bench the force that Chara can hit people with caused Pacioretty to be pushed over the boards by momentum.
Because there was no glass and the momentum Pacioretty was slammed into the post on the glass between the benches if he were hit anywhere else on the ice, Pacioretty would have absorbed the hit and been on his merry way no harm no foul, yes his arm was up on Pacioretty but Chara has five inches on Pacioretty given the fact that Chara skated away makes it look like he was guilty of a bad hit but in fact he was following the play.
There has been so much of this on the news that people are getting sick of hearing it, so here are a few suggestions.
The NHL needs to look at the way the boards are placed, maybe moving them back a foot or two give the players more room to play like a european type of ice rink.
Equipment is another prime example. Somebody made a point the other day that the players have so much equipment that some of them feel invinsible, and I agree I am not saying wear less equipment or make the size of the equipment regulated like the did for goalies a few years back. Helmets need to be looked at and the way they hold somebodies head.
Finally, the National Hockey League put glass on the players benches as well so things like the exposed posts are not such a hazard for players and officials.
The game of hockey needs to be refined year after year equipment, ice, rules everything needs to be looked at. Just because the game of hockey has been a certain way forever, does not mean it shouldnt be changed. The rules from 1950 can’t work in 2010, they did not have the same players and equipment back then as we do now.
There’s no doubt Chara should have been fined or suspended. There has to be rule of some kind to fine him under just because of the injury sustained.
Good luck to Gary Bettman on this one…