Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Montreal police on Zdeno Chara case
Montreal police said Tuesday that the investigation into Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara's on-ice hit of the Montreal Canadiens' Max Pacioretty is ongoing and unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.
Sergeant Ian Lafreniere told Boston sports radio station 98.5 the Sports Hub that the criminal probe would likely drag on because it is going to take time to interview potential witnesses, many of whom play for the Canadiens, and not because of the complexity of the case.
"Why is it a long investigation? There is a distance between us and the people we have to meet," Lafreniere said. "We're talking about a lot of people who are extremely busy, especially now with the [Bruins-Canadiens] series. So yes, we can figure out it's going to be a long investigation. It's [going to be a long investigation] not because we have to put a lot of effort in, it's just because it's going to take a long time to reach everyone."
Lafreniere also answered the question on every Bruins fan's mind: Could Chara potentially be arrested or disrupted when he crosses the border?
"This is not the way we work in Montreal," Lafreniere explained. "Especially in this case. We know exactly who we're talking about -- we're talking about Mr. Chara. It's not going to be hard for us to reach him."
The Bruins host the Canadiens starting Thursday. The series heads to Montreal Monday.
Lafreniere added that he didn't think the police would be getting around to talking to Chara anytime soon, saying the last person the police meet with in investigations like this is the alleged suspect.
"If we do have to meet Mr. Chara it's going to be at the end of it," Lafreniere said.
Chara's hit during a March 8 game left Pacioretty with a concussion and a fractured vertebra. Acting on a request by Quebec's director of criminal and penal prosecutions, Louis Dionne, the Montreal police opened an investigation into the hit March 10.
Chara said Tuesday that he has reached out to Pacioretty.
"Yes, yes I did. We talked," Chara said. He would not share what the two discussed.
ESPNBston.com's James Murphy contributed to this report.