Perhaps closure is finally coming soon for both Zdeno Chara and Max Pacioretty. The Montreal Police Department has completed their investigation into Chara’s hit on Pacioretty that broke his vertebra and gave him a season-ending concussion back in March.
With the police investigation completed, it’s now up the Canadian authorities to decide whether or not there’s enough there to charge Chara with a crime for the on-ice play. Doing such a thing is extremely rare and in the case between these two with how the hit played out, they’d have to figure out if Chara had the intent to injure Pacioretty and that he acted in malice towards him to put his health at risk for the hit.
Good luck figuring that out. Chara didn’t speak with Montreal authorities until after the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, so the investigation couldn’t press on faster than this. Chara spoke to police last month and while Pacioretty was upset that Chara wasn’t suspended for the hit, he in no way endorsed police action in the situation.
The sooner this can be settled out and everyone can just move along with their lives the better. The fact that this freakish but ugly scenario made it this far to get the police involved is embarrassing on its own. It’s understandable that Habs fans would be upset about seeing their players seriously injured at the hands of a rival opponent, but this isn’t as if Chara did this on purpose. The rules and how they’re handled on the ice are different from real life for a reason. After all, if the police got involved any time something went afoul on the ice, everyone would get investigated for something during their career.
Here’s to hoping the Canadian authorities close the book and tell everyone to go get ready for the new season.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.
Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?
We’ll know in a month.
Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:
The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.
The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.
If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.
Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”
And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.
While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.