After Max Pacioretty was hit into the turnbuckle in Montreal by Zdeno Chara two weeks ago, the Canadiens' winger was diagnosed with a "severe concussion" and a fractured vertebra. He's since said that he is not feeling any aftereffects of the concussion, and Habs coach Jacques Martin said Pacioretty could return for the playoffs.
That's good news for everyone, but it has perhaps exposed Montreal for reporting the injury as worse than it actually was in an effort to get the captain and ice-time leader of the division-rival Bruins suspended.
Bruins winger Mark Recchi, who's been playing in the NHL since 1988, was asked on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Felger and Massarotti Show if he was bothered by the Canadiens' "embellishment" of the injury.
"Well, obviously, yeah," Recchi answered. "There's an injury — he does have, obviously, a fractured vertebra, but the concussion was really a non-factor. Maybe [for] a day or two, he felt it, and then he was fine a couple days later.
"I believe, yeah, [the Canadiens] were trying to get Zdeno suspended and they embellished it a little bit," Recchi added of the severe concussion. "I guess they were trying to do what they could to get him suspended. I think the league sent the message that it was a hockey play, and that's the most important thing that people have to understand."
Recchi said that the league is obviously very serious about protecting its players, as evidenced by the suspension handed to Matt Cooke that will be from anywhere between 14 and 17 games.
"We all know [Chara's hit] was an accident, and that's the bottom line," Recchi said.
Recchi also discussed Pacioretty's message on Twitter from March 14, which was six days after the hit. In it, Pacioretty shared that he had just seen the movie Hall Pass.
"We're very thankful that he is OK and he's getting better," Recchi said. "We know he was [tweeting] at a movie four or five days later. Obviously, if you have a concussion, a bad concussion like they said, you're not going to be in a movie [theater]."
Listen to Recchi's entire interview from Felger and Maz by clicking here.