Fly the friendly skies

  • Updated: March 13, 2011 - 1:40 AM
Fly the friendly skies

Boston 6-9 behemoth Zdeno Chara's rub-out of Montreal's Max Pacioretty certainly seemed careless and reckless enough to warrant a suspension, but the NHL deemed the player's concussion and broken vertebrae an unfortunate result from a "hockey play."

Whatever you think of that, it was still absurd when Air Canada wrote a letter to the NHL threatening to end its corporate sponsorship with the league. Commissioner Gary Bettman came back with a zinger of his own, saying cutting ties was the company's prerogative as it was the NHL's prerogative to have many of its teams stop using Air Canada charters.

Do you see what I see?

Unsolicited, Washington coach Bruce Boudreau went after a couple of Tampa Bay Lightning players before a game last week.

"They lead the league in power-play attempts because guys like [Steve] Downie -- if I was a referee I'd never make a call on him ever. He dives every two seconds. [Steven] Stamkos dives every two seconds. You start to get a hate on for guys like that."

Later that night, Washington's Alex Ovechkin clearly embellished during one collision.

A new skill set

Edmonton star rookie Taylor Hall is done for the year after spraining his ankle during a fight with Columbus' Derek Dorsett.

Former Oilers tough guy Dave Semenko thinks it's good when the skilled players sometimes take care of business themselves.

"Wayne [Gretzky] didn't fight guys that tough," Semenko said. "He went with pint-sized Neal Broten one night and looked over at me on the bench. I yelled back 'You're on your own.'  "

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