Let's take one more look at Zdeno Chara's hit on Max Pacioretty that sent Pacioretty crashing into the stanchion face first, concussing him and fracturing a vertebra. Different people see different things. Some see a dirty play; the NHL doesn't see anything worth a fine or suspension. But the people of Montreal want Chara arrested, prosecuted, and possibly executed.
The calls to the police began yesterday afternoon, after the NHL announced they wouldn't be disciplining Chara. Apparently inspired by sports talk radio, as all mob justice efforts are, they flooded Montreal's 911 operators to the point where the police had to put out a public statement urging people to stop calling.
At the time, police wouldn't comment about following up. But this morning, Quebec's director of criminal and penal prosecutions Louis Dionne made a request, and in response the police have opened up an investigation.
"The police investigation will be held. Like all police investigations, evidence will be gathered and an investigation report will be submitted (to the DCPP)," said spokeswoman Martine Berube.
"(The DCPP) will then evaluate to see whether there's grounds for prosecution."
The evidence to be gathered: that same video you see up above. Dionne made his request because he saw: that video up above. The scores of Montreal fans who filed complaints against Chara did it because they saw: that video up above. Basically, we're not dealing with a complicated investigation here. It's a hockey play, that wasn't deemed illegal beyond a five-minute interference call and game misconduct. But a crime?
And yet, this is Quebec, where three cases of on-ice violence have been prosecuted in the past three years, though all in junior or youth leagues. If there's any jurisdiction in the world where they'd make Zdeno Chara sit in a courtroom while they call up YouTube video of a hockey hit, this is it.
And yet, even the embarrassment of a court case won't disturb the league as much as losing a bunch of money. After Chara's hit, major sponsor Air Canada threatened to withdraw from their partnership if more isn't done to combat head shots. And by head shots, the Montreal-based corporation means: "Zdeno Chara's head shot."