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Serious Injuries and Sports: Chara Under Investigation

Andy McKeever

More reason to hate the Montreal Canadiens was reported by the Boston Globe this morning. Montreal Police are opening an investigation on Zdeno Chara for the hit last week.

Yes, I said police. Cops. Pigs. Fuzz. 5-0. Whatever term you want to use. The police are investigating the on-ice play that the National Hockey League said was perfectly legal.

I want an investigation on all fighting incidents involving Canadien players. Assault and battery. Let's go.

What year was it when half the Canadiens were charged with organized crime? And the police are finding a way to charge our defenseman with a crime for a legal hit? Oh, might I add that Max Pacioretty, who suffered a severe concussion and cracked vertebrae because of it, said not to charge Chara.

Why don't we just make it against the law in Boston to play hockey in a Canadiens uniform? The police can just arrest the entire team next time the puck drops between the two. It is apparently against the law to be a better hockey team in Montreal. I know they were winning at the time but as of today there is only one team better than the Canadiens in the division.

That was a Lenny from Of Mice and Men hit. That's what that was. Chara is a beast. He doesn't want to hurt anybody with his 105 mile-per-hour slapshot - people just get in the way. He doesn't want to hurt anybody when he wants the puck - they just get in his way.

Now to be a little more serious.

What is happening in the NHL when it comes to serious injuries is happening in all sports. The players just keep getting bigger, stronger, faster and basically have overgrown the sport. Concussions are not something to be taken lightly. A person can die from them.

That being said, it is up to the employers to do everything they can to ensure the safety of their employees.

You have to watch that same crappy movie about lifting boxes and putting fires out every year to be up-to-date on the safety techniques at your job. There needs to be fire extinguishers in businesses, proper ventilation and emergency exits. There are procedures in place. There are health codes. There are laws that define this. There is a labor board. A lot of men and women work hard to ensure you work in safe conditions. With sports, it's the same principle on a larger scale. They are workers under a microscope.

Athletes are working people and the leagues need to do everything they can to ensure safety. There are rules about dangerous plays that are now being enforced. If you can't provide safety for your employees, you should not be in business. That's a sad thought when it comes to sports because we love them. But frankly, I would rather see the sports go than see situations like Pacioretty and Chara.

I fully support every league's attempt to make the game safer but I think the worst part about making this argument is that I am a huge fan of hard-hitting hockey. If I built a team, they would be bruisers. Same thing with football. I also do not want to see other sports do what NASCAR did with the restrictor plates. You can't take away part of the competition.

Retraining players to eliminate dangerous plays can go a long way and I hope it does. You can still have physical play without as many serious injuries. Too many people are getting seriously hurt in all sports. The way the games are played needs to change from the youth up. It will be sad to see the old styles of play gone but we'll get used to it.

Unrelated:
Why can't the Bruins win at home?
I have tickets to the Blackhawks v. Bruins in two weeks. My allegiance is torn (not really). I used to live in Chicago.
Baseball needs to cut down on the number of preseason games. Maybe I am partially bored with the Red Sox preseason because we saw most of these guys in the show last season.

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