Air Canada and NHL Threaten to Boycott Each Other Over Violent-Sport Spat

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REUTERS/Shaun Best

NewsFeed thought we already knew hockey was a violent sport. Apparently Air Canada just found that out.

Citing the lack of action by the National Hockey League following an injury-inducing hit in Montreal this past week, the league’s sponsor airline threatened to pull its support of the NHL because no fine or suspension was issued following the incident. The NHL didn’t take too kindly to the threat.

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On Tuesday, Zdeno Chara, a Boston Bruin, slammed Montreal Canadiens player Max Pacioretty headfirst into a glass partition near the Montreal bench, leaving him motionless on the ice and in a hospital with a concussion and cracked vertebra. Chara got the boot from the game, but no fine or suspension. The NHL says the unfortunate result of the hit was separate from the act.

Air Canada begs to differ, writing a letter to the NHL saying, “it is becoming increasingly difficult to associate our brand with sports events which could lead to serious and irresponsible accidents; action must be taken by the NHL before we are encountered with a fatality.”

In turn, the NHL retaliated by threatening to boycott Air Canada, the only foreign airline with an exemption to operate charter flights solely in the U.S. for the purpose of getting NHL teams to and from contests.

Violence, it seems, will always be a part of hockey. Of course, it will be a part of hockey business now too. (via Ottawa Sun)

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