"I think it was a hockey play," Chiarelli told 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich Tuesday morning. "I've heard some people suggest he should have been aware of the stanchion, waited, and then rubbed him out."
"Players are aware of the stanchion, some players try to drive guys in. I know Z's not that type of player."
Pacioretty was hospitalized after being checked into the glass headfirst by Chara late in the second period of Montreal's 4-1 victory Tuesday night.
"What Z told me was he felt that Pacioretty tried to squeeze beside him and went sideways, when he did, his momentum and Z's momentum pushed him into the stanchion. It's unfortunate and I heard (Pacioretty) was hurt and is feeling better and recovering. But I think it was a strong hockey play."
Chiarelli did say he feels players should be suspended when there is intent to drive a player into the stanchion.
Chara has a phone hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon with league officials where he will state his side of the hit. Mike Murphy from the NHL's hockey operations will be in on the call, along with Chara's agent, a union representative, and Chiarelli.
Chiarelli does not think Chara will be suspended, but is not sure if the NHL feels the same way.
"I hope not, I really feel strongly about my opinion on it," Chiarelli said. "The plays happen throughout. Sometimes stuff happens, bad luck."
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