There will be no criminal charges laid against Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara over an on-ice incident last March.
In a statement released Thursday, Quebec's director of criminal prosecutions says it does not believe a court would find Chara guilty of a crime and it has closed the case.
The hulking defenceman shoved Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty into a stanchion, breaking a vertebra and ending his season.
Chara received a game misconduct but no further suspension from the NHL, and the ensuing uproar in Montreal prompted law enforcement to take a closer look at the case.
Montreal police met with various witnesses and concluded their investigation in August after meeting with Chara himself.
Pacioretty had been critical of the NHL's non-suspension, but even he had called the police involvement unnecessary. He has since recovered and returned to play this season.
The investigation was delayed because police held off on interviewing Chara during the Bruins' lengthy championship run last spring.
Some legal experts had warned from the get-go that it was difficult to imagine a court convicting Chara.
For charges to stick after an on-ice incident, they said prosecutors would have to prove the behaviour in question went far beyond what might be reasonably expected in a hockey game.
A stick-swinging incident might meet the criteria, they said, but sidelining someone into a stanchion might not qualify.