by Patrick Hoffman on 03/21/11 at 09:07 PM ET
Upon hearing about Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Matt Cooke’s suspension for his elbow to the head hit on New York Rangers’ defenseman Ryan McDonagh, I think it is more than fair.
The truth of the matter is that the National Hockey League needs to take a stand against these types of hits and suspending a repeat offender for 10 games as well as the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is certainly one way to do that. This should show the offender that what he did was wrong and that because of that, he should miss part of the most important part of the NHL season: the playoffs.
It is pretty telling what former Penguins’ teammate and now Rangers’ forward Ruslan Fedotenko had to say about Cooke:
“I played with him, and I know what kind of player he is,” Fedotenko, now with the Rangers, told the New York Daily News. “Sometimes, he’s an effective player with what he brings to the team. He’s not necessarily a fighter, but an (agitator), one of the guys that gets guys off their games. Sometimes he was really effective for us.
“On the other hand, sometimes he’s just doing some — I would consider, dumb things. And it’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate for the league, for the players, for his teammates, opposite team. I feel like, it’s too bad he can’t, I guess, control it.”
“I don’t know what he can say for that. I don’t know,” Fedotenko said. “And with the NHL trying to crack down on it, I’m sure it will be a big issue, especially with what’s happened with his teammate, Crosby.”
Doesn’t this almost like a much harsher version of Blueshirts’ pest Sean Avery? Avery is a good teammate and can definitely produce but sometimes, he ends up crossing the line. With that said, however, Avery does not go at the lengths that Cooke does to hit people.
Here is hoping that Cooke learns his lesson and comes back to the Penguins and the NHL the better for it.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.