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All About Matt Cooke

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

In hockey parlance, Cooke’s wires crossed. He was late on the hit, and refused to abandon it. This wasn’t one of those plays where a defenceman is the last man back, and either he takes the puck carrier down or it’s a breakaway. There were three, perhaps four Wild teammates between the puck and the goal, but give the industrious Cooke credit here. He still likes to finish what he starts.

Barrie, the kind of player who actually sells tickets in the National Hockey League, is on the shelf for some period of time. (We won’t believe the Avalanche time line during a playoff series, any more than we’ll buy whatever defence Cooke brings to NHL disciplinarian Stephane Quintal’s office.) And, of course, the NHL Players’ Association will send out a representative or two in defence of Cooke, when what they should be doing is acting on behalf of Barrie and the other 885 union members and hide Cooke’s skates for good.

Of course, we’ve written that before too. It never really changes, does it?

Why should it? Matt Cooke never does.

more

Adrian Dater of All Thins Avs turns this incident into more about himself, than Cooke...

Cooke’s apologists can argue back with me or anyone else if they want. But to all the Wild fans who are “tired” of me mentioning Cooke on Twitter (a handful of Tweets apparently is a whole big bunch with these people), I’ll just keep doing them a favor and keep blocking them so they don’t have to be bothered with anything I say.

more

The Maven with his opinion...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+cooke

Comments

Avatar

This article is not fair.  People can hate cooke all they want for actions he has done in the past, but he was playing really solid hockey for the past several seasons.  Almost every third/fourth line player has a questionable play during a season… and all of these “experts” have just been waiting for Cooke’s moment to come.  It came yesterday, with a nasty knee-on-knee hit.  But the pouncing of all the “experts” is driving me crazy.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 04/22/14 at 04:31 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Agreed gtl, he made a bad hit, let the NHL decide what to do.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/22/14 at 04:33 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Barrie, the kind of player who actually sells tickets in the National Hockey League

Aaaaaaaaaand then the article went fringe and lost any argument it had.


As for Dater, this is the guy defending Lemieux’s hit on Draper to this day, so he can go eat a big bag of STFU.

Posted by Primis on 04/22/14 at 04:38 PM ET

Avatar

@ gtl…


For one, the article is a bit shoddy.. However… we all the know Truth. I don’t care if Cooke has cleaned up his act the past few seasons.. See my post in the earlier comment section regarding who he actually injured… but. c’mon.. The dude has been involved with long term injury for about 11 players. He’s fuching guilty by association. Please do not stick up for this guy..

Posted by Pasha1277 on 04/22/14 at 05:02 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Cooke is simply getting what he asked for. He’s proven he’s not ever going to be able to leave his past behind him, I’d be fine with the NHL leaving his behind in the past.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 04/22/14 at 05:20 PM ET

awould's avatar

Cooke has a well documented history of being a dirty player. Dirty hits. Intentional. Intent to injure. He really only cleaned up his act once he had no choice. His last one or two really bad acts, the chorus started that maybe he could be banned. So, he changed. Congratulations. For a couple of seasons. Now this. Right back at it. So he didn’t change. He just managed to contain himself for a while. For a couple of seasons. It’s like my brother who quits smoking every night. Every once in a while, he quits for 3 months. Then he lights up again. He quits until the next time.

With Cooke, the next time is inevitable. That list of victims posted above is longer than I remember and is just ridiculous. I gotta imagine there’s few rap sheets that long in recent history. Is Cooke just unlucky? How many games has he cost other players? How many points has he cost their teams? If you’re one of the 20 odd guys he faces every game, are you worried when he’s out there, ready to lose it again. Do you care if it is in the heat-of-the-moment, unintentional, accidentally on purpose, again? There are hundreds of players in the NHL and only a small handful of guys like Cooke who really just can’t help themselves, who play with a total lack of regard for the safety of others. Cooke’s history isn’t just some bad-timed boarding calls or errant high-sticks. Intentional elbows to the head, knee-on-knee stuff like this one, can only be intent to injure. Is he a bad person who really intends to injure? Irrelevant. He’s a player that lacks self-control, which makes him a constant danger to play against.

Cooke won’t be banned from hockey, it probably isn’t even possible w/ the CBA and the union. But it should be an option.

Posted by awould on 04/22/14 at 05:25 PM ET

Iggy_Rules's avatar

Considering his history I really don’t think that his being clean longer than 18 months should hold any weight at all. He was instructed to clean up his act and to his credit he did try (or appear to do so). But my understanding of the direction was “one more and you are done”.

The NHL needs to follow through on that message or guys like Cooke will continue to plague the league.

Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 04/22/14 at 05:33 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

I wonder how much of Shanahan moving on has to do with this “sudden” change of style from Cooke, because he did clear up his game recently
Maybe shanahan had personally told Cooke “you do 1 more of these and you are done”, or something like that, and now that he’s “gone”, its time to go back to old habits?

I guess we’ll have to wait for the suspension, but only time will really show us if he goes back, which might be unfortunate for another player, eventually

Posted by Zqto on 04/22/14 at 05:40 PM ET

Avatar

Considering his history I really don’t think that his being clean longer than 18 months should hold any weight at all

I don’t think it should either. 18 months is a very small sample size, small enough to be considered the “probation” period and he blew it. The NHL needs to grow a pair and set the example now by suspending him indefinitely and effectively kicking him out of the league. There has been too many dirty hits and “playoff hockey” is the weakest excuse

Posted by ryan-o on 04/22/14 at 05:50 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

What will Cooke get ? 5 games during pre-season? Whatever the NHL gives him, you can bet it won’t be enough to deter him in the future.

The NHL knows how to clean itself up, if it wants to. There hasn’t been a bench clearing brawl in 25 years. Why? Because a draconian rule was instituted in the late 80’s. First guy off the bench gets ten games. If the NHL is serious about keeping it’s best players on the ice, it needs to get serious about punishing clearly dangerous conduct that has nothing to do with hockey.

If they instituted a mandatory 10 game suspension for any knee-on-knee hit, do you think you would see such a hit ever again? Hell no. How about a mandatory 10 game suspension for ANY blow to the head? Mandatory, as in no discretion by the league to reduce it. ANY as is each and every blow to the head. Cross-checking someone and your stick rides up his back to his head? Your shoulder or elbow hits another player’s head? Enjoy the press box for 10 games. Think Lucic would have done that crotch shot if there was a mandatory suspension involved for that kind of stick work?

Head shots and dirty play add nothing to the game, rather they subtract from the quality of the players on the ice and from the quality of the game itself. Dirty play is the last refuge for teams that lack skill. If the league wants to clean up dirty and dangerous play, then put some teeth into the suspensions and remove any discretion about the imposition of the suspensions. Players will adapt very quickly.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/22/14 at 05:56 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Kerry Fraser of TSN wrote about the hit today but this is probably the most significant part of what he did say..

My colleague and friend Bob McKenzie shared the following information with me that should address your questions. A player’s record is expunged if he goes 18 months without an infraction but that only applies to the formula for calculating lost wages. If a player has a fine or suspension in last 18 months, he’s a repeat offender and the lost wages formula is based on number of games suspended (5/82 for a five game suspension) as opposed to number of days (5/182 for a five game suspension in a 182-day regular season).

But a player’s “history” stays with him as a permanent record and the NHL can take into account any or all past transgressions when determining length of a suspension.

History doesn’t allow the NHL to suspend a player who, if not for his history, wouldn’t be suspended. But once an illegal play has taken place, the NHL can use Matt Cooke’s history as part of his sentencing even if his transgressions were years ago.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/22/14 at 06:03 PM ET

calquake's avatar

With Cooke, the next time is inevitable.

The entire discussion in a nutsack… er, I mean nutshell.

Posted by calquake on 04/22/14 at 06:06 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

This article is not fair.  People can hate cooke all they want for actions he has done in the past, but he was playing really solid hockey for the past several seasons.  Almost every third/fourth line player has a questionable play during a season… and all of these “experts” have just been waiting for Cooke’s moment to come.  It came yesterday, with a nasty knee-on-knee hit.  But the pouncing of all the “experts” is driving me crazy.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 04/22/14 at 04:31 PM ET

The only way to judge a player or person is the things they’ve done.  If you ignore what he’s done, Mario is just a random schmo owner, right?  No one would view him that way.  He’s an all time great hockey player and always will be.

Cook was a very, very dirty player.  He’s also been a very, very reckless player.  He isn’t much of a dirty player now, but the reckless side reared it’s head again so it’s very relevant that he was what he was- just like Mario’s opinion on issues with hockey have a bit more weight because he was not only involved in it but at the very highest level.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 04/22/14 at 06:42 PM ET

Avatar

This is pretty ugly, but the league’s been awful soft on intentional, injurious knee on knees in the last couple years. Awful soft. From nothing (Hartnell), to a small fine (Orpik) to a slap on the wrist (Bickell).

Regardless of Cooke’s history—and he’s got quite the history—it would be difficult to justify throwing the book at him for something they’ve long established that they barely care about when it’s somebody else doing it.

In other words, if there’s a big suspension and the PA grieves it, the PA will win.

Posted by larry on 04/23/14 at 02:35 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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