Report: Canadiens Aware of Bell Centre’s Exposed Stanchions, Avoid Skating ‘Anywhere Near Them’

Much has been made about the safety of NHL rinks in the aftermath of Zdeno Chara's hit on Max Pacioretty last week. If the NHL, and Montreal's Bell Centre in particular, upgrades the safety of its playing surfaces, it sounds like the Canadiens players themselves would be the biggest fans of the change.

According to the Toronto Sun, a source indicated that the Habs are aware of the exposed stanchions, like the one that Chara rode Pacioretty into, resulting in a concussion and fractured vertebra for the Montreal forward. Furthermore, Canadiens players have made it a habit to avoid the area of the ice altogether.

"An NHL voice very familiar with the Bell Centre says that Montreal players regularly avoid skating anywhere near the open stanchions and he wonders why Max Pacioretty didn’t follow suit," writes the Sun's Steve Simmons

However, the same source thought the blame should still be given to Chara for Pacioretty's injury.

"Before you go off half-cocked about blaming the victim, the same voice blames Chara for the Pacioretty injury, but still thought it was a strange time and strange place for a player to be brave," he said.

Regardless, it's the type of report that proponents of improved NHL rink safety will point to in their quest to make the game safer for the players.

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