Zdeno Chara fined by NHL, probably the best $5,000 dollars he ever spent

Matt Kalman
February 13, 2020 - 4:43 pm

Pick on someone your own size, they say.

That command should really go both ways. If 5-foot-9, 184-pound Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher wants to pick on someone, he should go after Bruins forward Brad Marchand or Torey Krug.

If Gallagher chooses to agitate 6-9, 250-pound Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, then Gallagher should live with the consequences.

Chara was fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement, by the NHL Department of Players Safety for his crosscheck to Gallagher’s face in the Bruins’ 4-1 win at TD Garden on Wednesday.

When Gallagher starts getting under Chara’s skin, Chara has two options:

1. Pulverize him and look like a bully;

2. Send a message by other means, including a crosscheck that might cross a line and make Gallagher’s face a little less pretty.

Which one would Gallagher and the Canadiens prefer? Or maybe Gallagher should just stick to his own weight class.

But anyway, Chara’s a charitable guy and all the fine money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. It was probably the best five grand Chara’s spent considering how many time he’s probably wanted to do something similar to Gallagher since they started going head-to-head in 2012.

For those calling for a suspension, especially from north of the border, when Jake Muzzin gets a ban for his crushing elbow to Ondrej Kase’s head or Lawson Crouse’s check of Charlie McAvoy’s face earns a suspension, then we can talk. It’s hockey, it’s a fast game, tempers rise, players cross the line and they get penalties. Sometimes they get fined. Suspensions should be reserved for plays where there’s actual intent to injure, not for in-game action or even pre-faceoff jousting.

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