November 17, 2011
OK, he was always a free man, and the police investigation into his hit on Max Pacioretty(notes) wasn't really all that intense; but considering that the basis for this entire farce was overwrought hyperbole, allows us another moment of it.
The investigation into Chara's devastating hit on Pacioretty back in March, for which he was penalized but wasn't suspended, has continued for eight months (partially due to the Boston Bruins' run to the Stanley Cup delaying Chara's interview).
Pacioretty suffered a broken vertebra when he was ridden into the stanchion at Bell Centre, and was stretchered off the ice. The scene was so horrific that some Montreal Canadiens fans called the police, feeding the hysteria that prompted an investigation that continued through the summer and ended in August.
On Thursday, Quebec's director of criminal prosecutions stopped wasting everyone's time and said there was no case, with a statement via the CP:
"After carefully examining all the information provided in this affair, the (office) is not reasonably convinced it could establish evidence of guilt," the provincial prosecutors' office said.
According to the CP, legal experts felt there could only be a case if Chara's actions went "far beyond what might be reasonably expected in a hockey game." Which they didn't.
With that, the case is closed. No Chara being perp-walked like Chewbacca on the Death Star by police. No testimony by Dr. Mark Recchi(notes) on the stand about the affects of a darkened movie theater on concussions. No riot in Montreal if Chara was found innocent. Or if he was convicted. Or if the Canadiens appeared in the postseason.