Fractured vertebra for Pacioretty

Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty has suffered a fractured vertebra in his neck.

Head coach Jacques Martin had this update on Wednesday:

Pacioretty has a severe concussion, as well as a fracture of the
fourth cervical vertebra, but it’s not displaced,” explained Martin.
“Max will remain at the hospital for further observation. There will be
no other prognosis for the time being, but he will obviously be out
indefinitely. The most important thing for our organization right now is
Max’s recovery. We will continue following recommendations from the
doctors and of course, Max and his immediate family would appreciate
privacy in this matter.”

Her Zurkowsky has this update from practice.


  1. DrewCareyPriceIsRight says:

    yeah you are right…I think he he shooting for career ending vs. season ending.

    It was a very stupid play and when a play is that moronic, intent should move down a few rungs on the importance scale.  Chara is obviously not a doctor so he could not have predicted how dangerous what he did was, nor did he think how severe a high speed impact with an immovable object can be, but I am sure he does not drive around in his car slamming into brick walls either to find out.  At some point, common sense should kick in and you know something is extremely dangerous and if Chara does not know this yet, well, maybe he should take a lot of time off and go into some sort of councelling until he learns.

  2. adam76 says:

    Again – give me a robot over classless loud mouths.

  3. PattyBoy31 says:

    My vision was a crazy fan taking a tire iron to one of his knees. But thats just an idea.

  4. avatar_58 says:

    What was he supposed to do? In an emergency like that you must remain calm. I could see he was not comfortble at all, he’s just very professional and good at hiding it.

  5. AndyHabs says:

    i was at the game and enjoying watching the bruins get dominated by smaller faster habs team until zdeno chara decided to try and kill a player… not only did i lose my buzz i lost all interest in the game..,, get better max!!!!!

    Mtl 514 Go habs!!!!

  6. Buster says:

    Why can’t Martin should some freakin’ emotion!?!   I can’t see Tortorella or Laviollette of Ruff reacting this way.

    Get angry for christ’s sakes!!!!  He should have called out Chara and the entire bruins organization.



    Whooooaa baby!!! WHAT is goin’ on in Pennsylvania!!?

  7. Chorske says:

    I’m trying to think of what the league can do- beyond suspensions- to penalize teams that do this kind of thing. The only things I can think of is permanent banning of players, and loss of first round draft picks. It won’t happen- but when you think of the time and effort Pax and the Habs have spent developing his career, it seems like that is the only penalty that comes close to hurting the offending team enough.

  8. revolutionnumber9 says:

    Erik Cole had a fractured vert on Mar 4, 2006. He didn’t come back until June 17 for Game 6 for the finals.

    This kind of BS has to get eradicated from the game. “This just happens” and “Intent to injure isn’t there” really doesn’t cut it. Who in their right mind would send their kid to play in the NHL?

    I agree with the suggestion to make the ice bigger. Olympic hockey should be the goal. Tough, fast and skilled.

  9. jennifer1984 says:

    poor Patches.

    it’s even trending on twitter.

    i really hope he gets better, everything aside. i couldnt imagine being his parents at the game last night and not being able to run down to the ice.

  10. sidhu says:

    I agree — we should do something, make our voices heard. 

  11. awesomerino says:

    Can someone with a better understanding of medicine explain the potential consequences of a fractured vertebrae?

  12. TheMock780 says:

    Forgetting Chara for a moment, above all else now that Pacioretty and the Habs organization know what they’re dealing with, they have to be smart about the recovery. They can’t rush Max back like the Bruins and Marc Savard did. They have to wait until that vertabrae is totally healed and strong again and until he goes through a LENGTHY period of time where he is free of concussion symptoms.

    Hopefully the Habs, Pacioretty and his family handle his recovery properly unlike teams and players have in the past. As much as we were all excited about his potential to be a dominant forward, his health obviously comes first. I hope that he can come back as the same player that he looked like he could be.

    God speed Max

  13. mrhabby says:

    how much bad luck can this team have…

    iam not expecting chara to get any more than 5 games.

    way to go bruins.


  14. PattyBoy31 says:

    If sub-par discipline is handed to Chara I feel like doing something. I’m just not sure what. I feel helpless, angry…. and sympathetic for Pacioretty. I am hopeful he will recover nicely, not for the organization, but for himself first.

  15. TripleX says:



    I changed it like four times but it kept on coming out in support of Chara.

  16. DearyLeary says:

    Phone meeting means 5 games max.  Time to fire up an e-mail campaign.

  17. DearyLeary says:

    Reckless play has to be punishable in such a dangerous environment.  

  18. Bill says:

    So close to quadraplegia or death. Just thank God he’s alive and can still walk. I can’t see him playing hockey anytime soon, which is a tragedy for him. Hope the players have good insurance.

    Lawsuit? I would.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  19. CalgaryHabsFan says:

    It wont happen but Chara should be done for season including playoffs.

    Absolutely disgusted right now.

  20. sidhu says:

    I am disgusted by this.  Chara does not deserve to play the game. 

    Patches, get well soon bro!

  21. Hobie Hansen says:

    If the NHL doesn’t step in and suspend Chara for AT LEAST 10 games, now that the injury to Pacioretty has been revealed, this game is a JOKE!

    We have Matt Cooke running around trying to end people’s careers, line brawls galore the last month and Chara trying to break someone’s neck!

    I love a good NHL fight but all this extra crap going on is getting ridiculous!!!!!

  22. HabsFanNorway says:

    Quick search for recovery for that kind of injury it seems at least 3 months. How much bad luck can a team have? Get well soon Max. Looking forward to next season with Markov, Gorges and Max back!

  23. DrewCareyPriceIsRight says:

    Premeditated or not, this should factor into the suspension.  Stupidity and carelessness should not excuse the loss of a young and promising career.  We should not see Chara playing by the time the Habs face the bruins later this month.

  24. CrashTheNetCrashTheNet says:

    That’s better editing;-)

    “When I was a baby I wish my first word had been “QUOTE”, then right before I die I could say “UNQUOTE” – Stephen Wright

  25. PureGuava says:

    This is garbage. That ogre almost kills a kid – one of our top young prospects…and he’s going to get away clean.

  26. Captain aHab says:

    Is that for hockey players who get hit frequently or for ordinary citizens? I somehow doubt that he would come back from this in 3 months.

  27. TripleX says:

    Even if you give Chara the benefit of the doubt that he saw the stanchion coming.  To drive a player so hard to break a vertebrae indicates to me an intent to injure.  You can’t convince me that Chara  did not intend to hurt Maxpac.

  28. HabFanSince72 says:

    The Canadiens and Pacioretty need at the minimum to sue Chara, the Bruins and the league for his loss of income.


  29. WindsorHab-10 says:

    The SOB should miss as many games as Max Pac. This league is going down the crapper as long as they have idiots like Don Cherry & Mikle Milburry applauding such hits. Shame on you NHL.

  30. dysonsphere says:

    Luck has abosolutely nothing to do with this, or many injuries in this “game”.  The NHL has to take a good, long, deep look at its culture of disrespect among players and coaches, not to mention comentators (I’m looking at you Don Cherry).


  31. adam76 says:

    Chara should get 5 games.   he did not blindside him – or do i believe he intened to end Maxs season.



  32. smiler2729 says:

    You’re kidding, right?

    He blindsided him, he rode his elbow into Max and drove him into the turnbuckle (or whatever it’s called) with the same precision as a maniac timing his push of an unsuspecting victim into an oncoming train or bus.

    Ending his season? He more or less has ended Max Pacioretty’s hockey career (broken neck, see Steve Moore).

    Zdeno Chara has officially crossed the line from respected NHL superstar defenceman to dangerous offender, he’s no better than Todd Bertuzzi or Matt Cooke.

  33. adam76 says:

    So intent should not be a factor?  

  34. GhostsInTheForum says:

    if the bruins ever visit the halifax metro centre again for a preseason game, i’ll be waiting with a rifle to put that dumb overgrown moose out of it’s misery. i seriously would like to see him dead or at least in a wheelchair the rest of his life with a crushed neck. to heck with any dumb suspension.

  35. BJ says:

    Boston Globe reports that Chara has just finished his call with the league.

  36. MTLForever says:



  37. Chorske says:

    It’s a nondisplaced fracture (thank God), so there is a chance- a chance- he will play again. It won’t be this year, and may not even be next year. I don’t think Cole had as bad a concussion.

  38. DearyLeary says:

    I hope the league didn’t use any harsh language.  Golly gee Zdeno’s such a swell fella, he shouldn’t be suspended at all.  

    I can’t believe this isn’t going to result in a suspension worth a lick.

  39. Chuck says:

    Ironically, it’s not the fractured vertebrae that could keep Pax from returning to the lineup. The severe concussion could keep him off of skates long after his neck has healed.

  40. TheDagger says:

    Bertuzzi didn’t intend to end Moore’s career either. But it happened and a player needs to pay for his wreckless actions, regardless of what the intent was.

  41. DrewCareyPriceIsRight says:

    think of Bertuzzi’s hit on Moore…

  42. adam76 says:

    he needs to take the rest of the season off.

  43. LA Loyalist says:

    I’ve watched the video like 10 times trying to excuse Chara. I can’t.

    Chara should be gone exactly as long as Pax is gone. Not one minute less.

    I am so sorry for Pax and his family.


    “Where the offense is, let the great ax fall.” — William Shakespeare

  44. Buster says:

    Adam, I chose those three coaches because they FIGHT for their team!!!  Jack nearly fell asleep during the press conference




    Whooooaa baby!!! WHAT is goin’ on in Pennsylvania!!?

  45. DearyLeary says:

    Indeed.  I can’t believe the lack of integrity among the media.

  46. shiram says:

    How about responsibility for his actions?

  47. Bill says:

    Kudos to Pat Hickey for being the only media guy so far – I think – to state the obvious fact that Chara knew what he was doing.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  48. adam76 says:

    The three examples you gave are the most classless group of coaches in the NHL.  No thanks.

  49. HabFanSince72 says:

    He intended to hurt him. That’s all the intent needed for a harsh penalty.


  50. Captain aHab says:

    JM almost showed emotions last night. Almost. Pierre Boivin did.

  51. TheMock780 says:

    If not more. They need to take this slow

  52. HabFanSince72 says:

    Immediately: damage to the spinal cord, causing anything from no symptoms to complete quadraplegia.

    Long term: Instability of the neck making it impossible to play hockey. Chronic neck pain. Delayed progressive  spinal cord damage due to narrowing of the spinal canal.

    It  depends on how severe the fracture is.

  53. mrhabby says:

    a massive email to bettman.

  54. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    Neck fractures sometimes are not nearly as serious as they sound. Lots of variables. The concussion could have a longer recovery time, but three months actually is possible for both. Certainly would not be suited to play hockey though.

  55. mrhabby says:

    here, here. guess they want to keep credentials.

  56. shiram says:

    I think this is the worst of times to put some blame on JM. In his press conference you could see that he did not want to be there and asnwer the questions, and I am pretty sure he was furious at the situation, but really, blowing a gasket would not have done any good.

  57. avatar_58 says:

    Jacques Martin is an employee doing as he is told. He can’t just walk out there and say what he wants to. Not every orginization gives their employees freedom to be a jackass on camera ala Torts.

  58. TheDagger says:

    “Yes your honour, I was drunk and shouldn’t have been driving, but I didn’t intend on killing that family”.

    “Oh, well since there was no intent I can’t justify charging you to the full extent. How about I will call you later and we’ll discuss it, maybe you will get a small fine, and lose your license for a few months.”

  59. habstrinifan says:

    I agree! No sort of reaction from the Canadiens should be criticised… it is a difficult situation for every Canadien staffer NOW.

    This poor kid gave up his College education and a very satisfying and relaively safe college hockey career to be a Canadien… and now he is in grave danger of his life being affected altogether.

    The NHL has to stop this shame!


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