Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mark Recchi Comments About Max Pacioretty's Injury Hold NHL Back

by Kamal Panesar

Mark Recchi Attempts to Minimize a Severe Situation

Has there ever been a game that had as much hype surrounding it as tonight's match between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins?

Well there probably has been but in my 37 years of hockey watching I certainly can't remember one.

We all know about the back story, the fallout and the subsequent call for changes in the NHL that were spurred by Zdeno Chara's devastating hit on Max Pacioretty only 16 days ago.

So with the final regular season game between these two teams set to take place tonight in Boston, Mark Recchi spiced things up yesterday by saying on Boston radio that the Canadiens embellished Pacioretty's injury "a little".

Well, as expected, that set the world on fire with a largely negative backlash against the Bruins veteran.

At 43 years of age and with 21 seasons under his belt, it is inconceivable to think that Recchi would make such a foolish comment, even if he did believe it. The only potential save for Recchi is that listening to the interview, he was clearly goaded into the comment but, as a veteran, he should have known better than to throw fuel on a bonfire.

I think Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette said it best when he called Recchi's comments irresponsible and offensive.

Damn straight, Dave!

With the recent suspension of Matt Cooke for his elbow to the head of the Rangers' Ryan McDonough, and general managers, fans, media and players alike calling for a change, Recchi's comments set him and the Bruins franchise back into the stone age.

At question in all of this is the quickness with which Pacioretty seems to be recovering from a severe concussion and broken vertebra in his neck.

I'm not a doctor but from everything I have read about concussions the severity is judged by the length of time that a person is knocked unconscious, and not by the after effects. So a severe concussion means that the brain severely impacted the skull, knocking the player out for an extended period of time but makes has no impact on the recovery time.

The funny thing about concussions is that no two are the same and each person recovers along a different timeline, the reasons for which remain a mystery to doctors.

Some people are more minorly concussed but are never able to shake the headaches that accompany physical activity and, as such, can never play again. Others need a year or more off before being able to recover.

Others still, like Pacioretty, inexplicably have little to no after-effects from the collision. So just because a player doesn't suffer after-effects of a concussion, does this mean that they or the medical staff are embellishing the injury?

Absolutely not, and to claim that they are in order to get a player, in this case Chara, suspended is obscenely ignorant and completely missing the point.

When a player is injured as badly as Pacioretty was—according to doctors his fractured vertebra was millimeters away from being a life ending or paralyzing injury—the concern is the health of the player and not suspension.

It is when a player's life hangs in the balance due that people should remember that hockey is just a game. There are much more important things in life and the fact the Pacioretty seems to be suffering no ill effects and could be back in time for the playoffs is absolutely miraculous.

That Recchi was foolish enough to try and cast an insidious shadow on the Canadiens motives shows the level to which he has been absorbed by the Bruins goon-like mentality.

This is 2011 people, not 1971, and it's time for the game and it's backward thinking players to get with the times before someone actually dies on the ice.

Kamal is a freelance Habs writer, Senior Writer/Editor-in-Chief of, Montreal Canadiens Blogger on and Habs writer on Kamal is also a weekly contributor to the Sunday Shinny on The Team 990 (AM 990) every Sunday from 8 - 9 AM. Listen live at

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images North America)


ahhh... Max had a 'severe' concussion and he's watching movies. The Canadiens did make this hit out worse than it was. It was a dirty hit, but come on. The guy was at the movies not even two weeks after the hit and it was SEVERE? The Bruins have every right to believe that Recchi's comments are true. How do you know he had a broken vertabrae? The guys gonna play in three weeks!! Ridiculous. Just another dirty move from the Habs.

Recchi was offside.
The LEAGUE should call him on that.
ANY impact like the one suffered by Max would have caused to his brain to have concussed.
It is just a matter of recovery.
Even if, in the near term, he is not exhibiting symptoms consistent with concussion, he may still have suffered longer term ill-effects.
Recchi's comments were ignorant of concussions, given Max's injury and condition werer insensitive to a player recovering, and given the current climate of headshot controversy, was ill-advised.

Sorry folks, Blogger was misbehaving this morning. There was a comment by a Bruins fans named Andrew and an Anonymous response, both of which got deleted!

Many apologies. Please repost them if you read this.


So disappointed in Recchi. Even if it was a calculated response designed to take heat off Chara, it was insensitive and dumb.

But that's the way those donkeys at the sportshub work in Boston. They're shock jocks and we should consider their commentary under this light. Things make a lot more sense once you do.

I wonder if Recchi would repeat those words in Dr. Mulder's face, who, of course took such great care of Recchi's pal Brian Savage when his neck was broken.

I don't know much about concussions either, but if severity is judged by amount of time unconscious, then its no wonder why everyone in Boston is finding it easy to dismiss Pacioretty's injury. Of course, I wouldn't expect them to dig for, or speak the actual truth. They prefer to answer questions by asking more questions instead of dealing with the reality of what's happened.

Great stuff Kyle!

I did a bunch of research about it before writing this piece and while I'm no expert, it is clear that severity is judged by time unconscious.

Take a look at this link:

It seems to indicate that 5 mins or more of time unconscious indicates a Grade III or severe concussion.

Seems pretty cut and dried to me.

As for Recchi, I am surprised. There is no way he would have said something like that, even if he was goaded, while wearing a Habs jersey. He really seems to have gotten sucked into the Bs culture of thuggery.

Sad, because he used to be such a classy guy. His comments seem at odds with his reputation in the league.

You deleted someone's post because it didn't agree with your point of view? Class act, A+++ reporting. You might as well be FOX news. I hope you tracked their IP so you can phone the police and request an arrest warrant. Hope you enjoyed the game tonight! :)

Hey Anonymous!

I didn't deleted the comments, it was a Blogger error. I'm really sorry about that! If you read the first comment on this post, I explain that there were two comments: one by an Andrew who was a Bruins fan and one by Anonymous who was responding to Andrew.

BOTH comments got deleted, and not by me. I assume you are Andrew.

I was actually happy to see a response from a Bruins fan and pretty upset that it got nuked by Blogger!

As a rule, I never delete comments unless they are completely obscene and don't add to the conversation. Your was neither and I am truly sorry it got nuked.

Each has his own recovery method. It depends on the health of the individual too.

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