The New York Rangers have called for a ban on “hockey plays” after Boston Bruins defenseman and Green Giant Peas spokesman Zdeno Chara broke Ryan Callahan’s leg with a slap shot Monday night.
Callahan, the team’s second leading scorer, is out indefinitely. His injury a major blow to the Rangers, who are gearing up for their annual tradition of falling well short of expectations in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“This has gone on long enough. How many more guys need to get seriously hurt before we start making an effort to get these ‘hockey plays’ out of hockey,” said Rangers GM Glen Sather in a news conference Wednesday morning. “The fact that a giant, Eastern European man can take a stick, raise it over his head and then bring it down with all his force to shoot a small, hard object into the body of another man is horrific. There’s no place in the game for this type of behavior, it’s despicable.”
The Rangers plea comes weeks after Chara was involved in another “hockey play,” when Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty suffered a broken neck in a collision along the boards with the hulking Bruin.
Callahan was not at the event and could not be reached for comment. Sather said he was having a puck surgically removed from his femur. Bruins forward Mark Recchi, who was apparently waiting in the back of the room for some reason, immediately countered Sather’s statement, saying that the puck had always been in Callahan’s leg and he was probably faking it to get a day off.
Pacioretty, who continues to recover from a broken neck and severe concussion he suffered one month ago Friday, also could be reached for comment. As of press time, he was participating in a Strong Man competition and was preparing to pull a school bus using only the power of his neck.
League officials did not immediately release a statement on the situation, but sources told ItB they would not consider banning “hockey plays.”
“Look nobody likes hockey plays, but as long as they are part of the game, the league has a way to not suspend players they really like who do sh!tty things,” one source said.
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