Just six of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League play their home games in Canada, but those six are followed with almost religious devotion by their Canadian fans. And nowhere is the passion for hockey greater than in the city of Montreal, where the team known locally as ‘Les Habitants’ regularly sells out the Bell Centre to watch the Canadiens play.
So when Montreal forward Max Pacioretty lay motionless on the ice after being checked by Boston Bruins’ defenseman Zdeno Chara into a turnbuckle stanchion in a game last week, the reaction in the Bell Centre rippled beyond the building, out into the city, and eventually throughout the country prompting outrage and calls for punishment beyond the confines of the league’s regulations.
VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb speaks with Pat Hickey, the Canadiens’ beat writer for the Montreal Gazette. Hickey describes what happened that night when Pacioretty hit the turnbuckle.
Click listen to hear the interview.