March 22, 2011

Did the NHL hit Cooke hard enough?

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

Many might think getting sick and watching TV all weekend would be the perfect storm for a blogger like myself, but really, you just don’t have the energy to rail off on somebody as stupid as Matt Cooke. And he really deserved it too – along with the upset-tacular March Madness games we saw.

While giving the Penguins’ cheap-shot artist 14-17 games (the rest of the regular season plus one playoff round), is harsh by the league’s standards, I’m not so sure this is going to stop the goon from trying to put another player on the shelf.

What I want to know is what happens next time? Can it be anything less than a calendar year? Maybe banishment? Like Steve Simmons wrote, the guy ruined Marc Savard’s career, altered Vincent Lecavalier’s and injured Andrei Markov’s knee.

How many more chances should Matt Cooke get?

Even after seeing his own teammate and captain Sidney Crosby miss a large portion of this season, Cooke still went out and deliberately tried to hurt somebody. Even after all this talk across all pro sports about concussions and player safety, Cooke still went out and deliberately tried to hurt somebody. Even after we saw a former NFL player essentially kill himself to give his repeatedly concussed brain to science, Cooke still went out and deliberately tried to hurt somebody.

It was clear and measured when he raised his elbow to the Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh’s head. The intent was there and thinking was not.

The more I think about it, the more I start to believe maybe this 14-17 game ban wasn’t enough.

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