In a moment that gives me a bit more faith in humanity than I had before, the Quebec prosecution office has decided to close the case opened when Zdeno Chara delivered a nasty hit to Max Pacioretty back in March. Sure, it did take eight months, and the criminal investigation into an on-ice matter was always in my opinion a gross misuse of justice that would be better used elsewhere, but no charges will be filed against Big Z.
The prosecutors declared that they weren’t sure they could establish enough evidence of guilt in the case, so it wouldn’t be worth it to go to trial. I’m breathing a sigh of relief. Back when I learned of this investigation, I reasonably worried about this creating precedent where any bad hit or play gone horribly wrong could be dragged into the legal system. (I stated it at the time, but let me say it again: it would be like in the episode of South Park where everyone started suing each other for sexual harassment.)
Besides, Chara and Pacioretty moved on from the hit a long time ago. The injury that some said at the time could end Pacioretty’s young career (he’s my age) has not done so. He’s back on the ice this season and doing very well so far, scoring 9 goals and 7 assists to date. Chara’s been doing well too with one goal and 12 assists to date.
During this process, Chara said he wasn’t super worried about things, but that he did want to hear the final outcome. Andrew Ference whipped out a little French when commenting on it:
“We all thought it was pretty silly for them to go through that process, but they did. So c’est la vie.”
Team president Cam Neely considers the matter closed, so I will too. All’s well that ends well, even if it did take most of a year.