Monday, March 14, 2011
Geoff Molson addresses Canadiens
BROSSARD, Quebec -- Canadiens chairman Geoff Molson met with his players Monday to explain why he criticized the NHL after it did not punish Boston's Zdeno Chara for a hit that severely injured Montreal's Max Pacioretty.
The team owner made a rare visit to the locker room at practice.
Molson explained to the players why he issued a public letter last week in which he blasted the league and said safety must become a top subject at the ongoing general managers' meeting.
"The visit was very much appreciated," coach Jacques Martin said.
"This was a chance for Geoff to provide the players with information. He first of all told them how troubling he found the situation and, after that, explained the process that led him to address the fans [in the letter]."
Molson also reassured his players Monday that safety improvements were coming to the Bell Centre.
The hit on Pacioretty did not occur on the area of rinkside glass that has been the subject of player complaints. The team says it's been planning for months to replace that glass -- but says it can't proceed because it's awaiting league approval.
Chara, the Bruins captain, pushed Pacioretty into the stanchion separating the team benches in a hit that left the forward with a concussion and fractured vertebra.
The hit resulted in no fine or suspension.
The Canadiens have already announced plans to replace the rink surroundings after one of the team's top forwards, Michael Cammalleri, expressed his dislike for the Bell Centre glass last fall and compared bodychecks there to being smashed into a wall.