If there's one thing that I've learned in the last few years of watching hockey, it's that for every beautiful, incredible, exhilarating moment in this sport we love, there's one that makes your stomach turn. It's a nasty, violent game -- and that sucks a whole bunch.
The folks at Air Canada get these feelings as well, and in the aftermath of Max Pacioretty's horrifying Tuesday night injury, they've reportedly threatened to pull their sponsorship of the sport. Via QMI:
"From a corporate social responsibility standpoint, it is becoming increasingly difficult to associate our brand with sports events which could lead to serious and irresponsible accidents; action must be taken by the NHL before we are encountered with a fatality.
"Unless the NHL takes immediate action with serious suspension to the players in question to curtail these life-threatening injuries, Air Canada will withdraw its sponsorship of hockey."
While opinions may differ on whether or not Zdeno Chara deserved a suspension (if you haven't heard, he was let off without a fine or a suspension), most of those opinions aren't of the folks at one of the NHL's largest corporate sponsors.
There's no doubt that this sort of outrage from such a big time sponsor will cause the NHL to rethink things a bit. Losing a sponsor like Air Canada would be a huge black eye, and when the League's general managers gather in Boca Raton, Fla. next week, you can be sure this will be on the agenda.