Acting on an official request by the Quebec director of criminal and penal prosecutions, the Montreal police have opened up an investigation of Boston Bruins’ defenseman Zdeno Chara’s hit on Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty.
ESPN reports that the director, Louis Dionne, put forth the request after watching footage of the hit. Dionne’s spokesperson told ESPN:
“The police investigation will be held. Like all police investigations, evidence will be gathered and an investigation report will be submitted [The DCPP] will then evaluate to see whether there’s grounds for prosecution.”
SBNation hockey writer Travis Hughes lists the various times police officials have intervened in in-game hits and injuries before, but says the opening of a criminal investigation in a matter where intent is denied and the NHL took no sanctioning action post-game is “unprecedented:”
“The difference between all of these incidents and the Chara hit on Pacioretty is clearly the intent. Chara denies any intent, the NHL clear didn’t think there was intent to injure and truthfully, we have no idea what the intent was on the play.”
When Montreal Police aren’t busy investigating Chara, they will be busy convincing locals that emergency numbers should be used for actual emergencies. Stanley Cup of Chowder reports that Montreal’s 911 call centers were flooded with calls from concerned hockey fans looking to report the hit and complain of the lack of suspension on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Canadian Press reports that the calls may have been triggered by a local sports radio station.