On Tuesday night, Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins hit Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens from behind, sending him headfirst into the plexiglass divider between the two benches. Because of the way that Pacioretty hit the glass, he was knocked unconscious. He laid face down on the ice for almost five minutes, and it took the better part of 10 minutes to move him from the ice, onto a stretcher and off the rink.
I'm sure you figured out how I feel about the hit based on the headline, but I'll still present the video before completely passing judgment.
A lot of Boston Bruins fans, along with Chara's teammates, will probably point out that Chara is not this kind of player. And by "this kind of player," I mean the type of player that looks to intentionally injure people, like Trevor Gillies or Matt Cooke. They might be correct.
Still, there's no excuse for this kind of hit. If Chara did what he did to Pacioretty intentionally, he's reckless and he should be suspended. If he didn't do it intentionally and he hurt Pacioretty on accident, he's such a danger to his fellow players that he probably shouldn't be allowed to check people. The latter scenario seems unlikely, since Chara is a world class defenseman. In January, Pacioretty scored an overtime winner against the Bruins which resulted in a brawl with Chara, so we can only hope that this hit wasn't made in retaliation.
Thankfully, according to Canadiens management, Pacioretty was awake and moving his limbs when he arrived at the hospital. That shouldn't change Chara's suspension prospects.