I think that, ultimately, whenever someone is hurt in action, it doesn’t matter who the person is that caused the injury, they do feel bad about it. No one ever intends to go out there and hurt someone. In the incidences where players like Steve Moore and Jarolslav Otevrel, the hits they have received destroyed them. The players that caused this have to live with that every day.
Richard Zednik and Clint Malarchuk’s injuries, severing the internal carotiod artery were caused by skates, neither of which were in any way intentional. Zednik once mentioned that he watched the experience 1 time and that was more than enough.
It is easy to get caught up in the game. It is expected to not let anything hinder your ability to play the game and win the game. And there do have to be rules and standards. Remember, before Bill Masterson’s injury that eventually took his life, hockey players did not wear helmets. Because of this, hockey players are now required to wear helmets (thankfully).
There is no sport, in my mind, where more people lose teeth, suffer more concussions and broken bones, than hockey. It is a brutal sport (just listen to any of the Thrashers commercials), however, every precaution needs to be made to ensure that players safety is always being reviewed, improved and never compromised.
There is no doubt in my mind that Zdeno Chara and the Boston Bruins feel horrible for what happened to Max Pacioretty. Though there is no love lost between the two players, Chara is a giant good hearted soul. When he gets on the ice he is going to give it his all and do everything he can for his team.
In this article from The Star, Bruins coach Claude Julien said “I’m not going to comment too much on that because no matter what your answer, there’s always going be two sides to that. We’re supportive of our player. We know he didn’t do it on purpose. It wasn’t intentional. I said that yesterday,” Julien said.
“But at the same time, I understand their frustration at the other end because we’ve been on the other side of the coin, and it’s normal to be frustrated and I understand them as well.”
It is a tough battle and a tough sell. I think really, what it all comes down to is, are there more precautionary measure that could be made to ensure the safety of our players? Is this a time when the question needs to be asked again?
In the meantime, here are a few organizations I found while doing my research on this that I think deserve a mention and perhaps even some additional funds.