I don't know. I like SpokedB's comments. It's always nice to get a refresher from the other side.
& I'll concede I've made one or 2 inappropriate comments towards Chara and I regret them (though I thought they were pretty darn funny ... )
Anyway, some thoughts:
1. Intent. Completely and utterly irrelevant. It's almost impossible to prove. But if I'm driving a vehicle (& Chara is the closest thing in the NHL to a vehicle ), and I drive over the speed limit in poor conditions (and I can form a pretty accurate assessment of conditions because I've been driving for over 20 years without an accident), lose control of said vehicle and come close to paralyzing someone, I'm guilty of reckless driving. Maybe manslaughter if someone in the other vehicle dies.
2. Prior history (a). In the above example, the fact that I've never been in an accident does not matter. It might make the sentence smaller but there would still probably be a sentencing.
3. Prior history (. There was definitely prior history between Chara and Pacioretti. Patches' shove on Chara after his OT goal, for one. I think Chara made a point of looking for Patches when the 'beatdown' started 2 games ago. Passed over a couple of other Habs to get to him, too. So, bringing back the car example, the entire situation changes if the driver in the other car slept with my wife and I want to give him a little scare.
4. Strong hockey play. Good for you. Look what you're strong hockey play got you. What about the smart hockey play.
5. Amount of time. Come on. The stanchions have been there forever. Why is it that when a player like Crosby or Stamkos weaves through a bunch of opponents - moving opponents - using split-second reflexes, we call that great hockey skills? The speed of the game should not be used as an excuse for recklessness from a defensive point of view while, at the same time, enabling offensive plays to be considered great. Yes, the incident happened in a in 'the blink of an eye' but the situation was developing over long seconds.
6. Score. If it was a closer game, there is no way Chara makes that play. Not with less than a third of a minute left in the period. I repeat, unless Chara isn't half the player I think he is, there is no way he makes that play.
7. Head shot. Come on again. There is clear evidence of Chara bringing his hand up high on Patches' head well after Patches had been successfully isolated from the play. Players are supposed to be responsible for their sticks; intent never comes into play in a tripping call. DANGIT! Great players are not playing right now because of concussions. Why can't we just get the headshots out of the game. Off limits. Cut and dry. No blindside, no intent, no blame on victim or circumstance. Hit the head, sit for some minutes. Hit the head & cause injury, sit for some games.
8. Responsibility (a). Not Chara's, no suspension. Not the NHL's, they didn't suspend him; it's part of the game. Is it Patches'? Is it the boards'? I don't know. But something has to change. Somebody has to change.
9. Responsibility (. NHL brass. Really? Really? Not only do you call it just "part of our ... game" but you spit in the eye of sponsors who are starting to realize that wow, maybe it's time to get control here. The Chara/Pacioretti incident, if it leads to any change and further protection of the players, should be seen as a catalyst towards and not the cause of said change. The stars are falling in this league and that should have been enough to get people to look differently at some things.
10. Conflicts of interest. Please don't get me started. I'm getting so tired of barely a third of the league providing what? 3/4 or so of the entire revenue. Why does a group of people running a league with so many franchises hemorrhaging money, a group of people that has no respect for sponsors, a group of people that care more about their clique of owners than a potential new owner that would bring in more money, a group of people that peddle violence like Quentin Tarantino, why do these guys get to keep their jobs?!? It's not like their CEOs of major banks.
*whew* I'm done. Probably never even covered off all my points. But 10 is a round number. & I really only came online to quickly find a link .