Max Pacioretty has concussion, fractured vertebra; hit by Zdeno Chara draws no further NHL discipline

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Montreal forward Max Pacioretty has a severe concussion and a fractured vertebra after a devastating hit by Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara during Tuesday night’s game, Canadiens Coach Jacques Martin said after Wednesday’s practice.

In addition, NHL senior vice president of hockey operations Mike Murphy announced Wednesday that Chara will not face further discipline for the hit. During the game, Chara was assessed a five-minute major for interference because the hit came after Pacioretty got rid of the puck.

According to Martin, Pacioretty fractured the fourth cervical vertebra and is in a hospital under observation.

“There is no other prognosis at this time,” he said of Pacioretty, who spent several minutes lying motionless on the ice after the hit by Chara.


Murphy said he made the decision not to impose supplemental discipline after a hearing with Chara and a review of the game video.

‘This hit resulted from a play that evolved and then happened very quickly -- with both players skating in the same direction and with Chara attempting to angle his opponent into the boards,’ Murphy said in the statement. ‘I could not find any evidence to suggest that, beyond this being a correct call for interference, that Chara targeted the head of his opponent, left his feet or delivered the check in any other manner that could be deemed to be dangerous.

‘This was a hockey play that resulted in an injury because of the player colliding with the stanchion and then the ice surface. In reviewing this play, I also took into consideration that Chara has not been involved in a supplemental discipline incident during his 13-year NHL career.’

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.