It’s almost been eight full months since Zdeno Chara hit Max Pacioretty into a Bell Center stanchion, breaking Pacioretty’s vertebrae and forcing him to miss the remainder of the season. Since then, Chara’s won a Stanley Cup while Pacioretty returned to the Canadiens lineup, emerging as the team’s leading scorer this season.
Yet when Chara heads to Montreal this Saturday to face the Habs, the big defenseman will have a cloud hanging over his head.
According to the Canadian Press, Quebec’s director of criminal prosecutions still hasn’t made a decision on whether to lay criminal charges over the Pacioretty hit. The Montreal police concluded their investigation in August (delays were partly caused by Boston’s Stanley Cup run and police waiting to investigate Chara) but Crown prosecutor Jean-Pascal Boucher said his office continues to study the file. This despite the fact several legal experts have deemed it “highly unlikely” that Chara would be prosecuted.
In a weird twist to this story, Pacioretty might be unable to exact his revenge against Chara and the Bruins. He suffered ligament damage in his wrist on Tuesday against Florida, an injury that could keep him out of Montreal’s next three games — tonight versus Philadelphia, Thursday in Boston and then Saturday’s highly-anticipated affair.