We had good discussion on the Zdeno Chara hit -- click here to catch up -- and I've been mulling this for the past day.
I find it deplorable that there was no suspension for Chara. While I understand some of the arguments -- "if it were somewhere else on the ice, no big deal" ... "this is a fluke because he hit a right angle" -- a player must be aware of his surroundings and in control of his actions.
That partition near the bench is in almost every arena that's there. When I play, I'm aware of it. When I referee, I make sure players are aware of it if they are careening there physically.
Look at this photo -- click here -- and tell me Chara mustn't be held accountable for what he did to this guy.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman lost all credibility with me long ago -- see games being on Versus instead of ESPN -- and if he wants to protect the players on any level, he must limit hits to the head like this one, and remove the trapezoids behind the net.
Otherwise, we'll have more of this: Click here.
Instead, he's not even punishing Chara a single game.
I got on to this rant because I saw an intriguing story about a major sponsor of the NHL, Air Canada, threatening to pull their money from the league. Click here. While I'm not in favor of a sponsor being able to dictate things to a league, in this case, it's compelling. The injured player, Max Pacioretty, played for a Canadian team. Air Canada's response is almost in defense of the national sport, the Canadian teams and the viability of a league that is, pardon the pun, on thin ice.
What do you think?