Pacioretty speaks to TSN’s McKenzie

The Canadiens Max Pacioretty reached out to Bob McKenzie of TSN Wednesday night from his hospital bed at Montreal General (video and story) and told McKenzie he doesn’t feel concussion symptoms too badly, that he feels surprisingly well in that regard. As for the issues with his cracked vertebrae, they won’t be getting attention until some other medical issues are resolved, but he is doing better than he expected.

He added that he thought Zdeno Chara did target him, did direct his head into the upright by the Bruins’ bench and that he was disappointed the NHL didn’t take some sort of action against Chara, saying it will give players the idea they can do the same thing and not be punished and other players will be hurt as a result.

“I am upset and disgusted that the league didn’t think enough of (the
hit) to suspend him,” Pacioretty told TSN. “I’m not mad for myself, I’m
mad because if other players see a hit like that and think it’s okay,
they won’t be suspended, then other players will get hurt like I got
hurt.
 
“It’s been an emotional day. I saw the video for the first
time this morning. You see the hit, I’ve got a fractured vertebrae, I’m
in hospital and I thought the league would do something, a little
something,” said Pacioretty. “I’m not talking a big number, I don’t know, one game, two games, three
games…whatever, but something to show that it’s not right.

“I heard (Chara) said he didn’t mean to do it. I felt he did mean to do
it. I would feel better if he said he made a mistake and that he was
sorry for doing that, I could forgive that, but I guess he’s talking
about how I jumped up or something.”
 
“I believe he was trying to
guide my head into the turnbuckle. We all know where the turnbuckle is.
It wasn’t a head shot like a lot of head shots we see but I do feel he
targeted my head into the turnbuckle.”

McKenzie said Pacioretty has little memory of the incident. He remembers being wheeled off the ice in the stretcher and he wondered why everyone was making such a big deal of it.

His parents Ray and Anna visited him this morning and Pacioretty told McKenzie they watched the video of the hit for the first time today and Ray cried when he saw it. Ray was at the game but didn’t get a good look at it live.

McKenzie added that Pacioretty is encouraged by the support of the Canadiens fans, which means a lot to him. He feels he’s getting terrific medical care. As for his prognosis, he is not sure if or when he will be able to play hockey again, but it is his goal to come back and play in the NHL.

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