Max Pacioretty had a phone hearing at 4pm ET today to discuss his hit on New York’s defenceman and former Habs draft pick, Ryan McDonagh. Pacioretty was handed a two-minute minor for boarding on the play and McDonagh was a bit bloody following the hit. Max was giving McDonagh a bit of a payback for a hit earlier in the game where there was no call. McDonagh hit Max from behind near the bench and he needed a bit of help by his teammates to get over the bench; clearly in discomfort.
Upon review of the incident, it is clear that Pacioretty did not jump prior to hitting McDonagh. His feet come off the ice during impact which is understandable and occurs quite frequently during hits in hockey. The momentum from Pacioretty propels him upward but there was no intent to do so or to injure. McDonagh sees that Pacioretty is coming before the hit, yet puts himself in a vulnerable position as he turns his back to retrieve the puck. It was an unfortunate result as McDonagh was injured on the play but it did not seem to deserve anything more than the penalty handed out to Pacioretty at that time.
The NHL has decided not to fine or suspend Max Pacioretty for the hit, regardless of having a record for his hit last season on Pittsburgh’s Letang. According to Renaud Lavoie, Marc Bergevin did a great job to protect his player (as any GM should).
You can review the two hits below: