Well, the Zdeno Chara-Max Pacioretty incident back in March can now be put to rest…at least in the legal department.
According to the Canadian Press, an eight-month investigation concluded as the dropped the investigation on the Bruins captain for driving Pacioretty into the stanchion — which has since been removed — in the Bruins’ 4-1 loss to the Habs at the Bell Centre on March 8.
Chara, who was given a game misconduct for the incident, was not suspended by the NHL for the incident that took place late in the second period, while Pacioretty suffered a concussion and a broken vertebra on the play and had to stretchered off the ice. The Habs forward missed the remainder of the 2010-11 campaign, but returned to the Montreal lineup this past fall.
Pacioretty has 15 points (8 goals, 7 assists) in 18 games for the Habs — good for second on the team — while Chara is tied for sixth in the league among defenseman — along with Sheldon Souray (Dallas), Kyle Quincey (Colorado), Nick Leddy (Minnesota) and Dmitry Kulikov (Florida) — with 13 points (1 goal, 12 assists).
Quebec’s director of criminal prosecutions believed that there was not enough evidence for Chara to appear in court.
“After carefully examining all the information provided in this affair, the [office] is not reasonably convinced it could establish any evidence of guilt.”
This case might be closed, but the Bruins-Habs rivalry is far from ever being settled. The two teams face off for the third time in the 2011-12 season this coming Monday at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens won both meetings during a home-and-home at the end of October.