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Dingle, dangle, dork: Cooke, Keith offer impolite remarks

A pair of definitely and probably gender-specific comments (respectively) have me shaking my head this morning, I suppose proving that hockey is an equal-opportunity sport when it comes to placing one's feet in one's mouth (perhaps on both sides of the digital voice recorder).

When Matt Cooke played in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 3-1 win over Ottawa, visiting Canada's capital for the first time since accidentally(?) severing Erik Karlsson's Achilles tendon, he registered an assist and refused to fight Chris Neil.

Prior to the game, he confronted the Ottawa Sun's Don Brennan for penning a column entitled "Ottawa Senators' playoff hopes might save Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke from a beat-down," so I will delicately state that those of you who don't want to read about parts of the male reproductive tract ought to stick to the headline. Brennan reports, albeit delicately, that Mr. Cooke wished to inform Mr. Brennan of #24's opinion that Brennan did not display a preponderance of intestinal fortitude in casting aspersions upon his person:

After listening to Cooke answer questions about the Feb. 13 incident in which his skate sliced 70% of the way through Erik Karlsson's Achilles tendon, I went to speak with other players in the room about different matters. Like every other reporter there. On the way out, I found Cooke waiting to have a word in private with me.

He wanted to tell me I have no balls. At first I think he said "small balls." But by the time he had finished, and knew Penguins GM Ray Shero was listening, he had decided I had none. Oh, and I believe he also mumbled something about me having no penis before disappearing into the players-only room, which I found interesting.

I will not take this opportunity to, ahem, brag about my manhood.

Cooke accused me of hiding behind the cameras, which is funny. In scrums that large, none of us scribes can get past the guys shooting video. Besides, what exactly would I be hiding from?

Cooke wanted to know why I didn't ask any questions. It's because I only had one, and somebody beat me to the punch. When Cooke held to his story that the Karlsson injury was a "complete freak accident," I'd heard enough.

As you might imagine, Brennan continues at length (no pun intended)...

And on the West Coast, Pass it to Bulis' Harrison Mooney reports that Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith fielded a question regarding a possibly penalizable offense against Daniel Sedin--negated by the fact that Keith's slash on Sedin did not deter the Canucks winger from registering the 3-0 goal in Vancouver's 3-1 win on Monday night--by casting aspersions upon a member of the other gender:

It’s possible Keith was fully aware of that when he swung the lumber in the first place. Or maybe he was just trying to cause Daniel to slip up and lose control of the puck. I’m not going to pretend to know his intent. Better to just ask him, which is what the Team 1040′s Karen Thompson did after the game. Her reward: an earful of completely uncalled-for sexist rubbish.

“It looked like there was a penalty,” she said to Keith, in explaining why she was asking about the play.

“Oh no, I don’t think there was,” Keith responded. “I think he scored a nice goal. The ref was right there. That’s what the ref saw. We should get you as ref, maybe, hey?”

“Yeah, maybe,” Thompson responded. “I can’t skate, though.”

“First female referee… can’t play probably, either, right? But you’re thinking the game like you know it? Okay, see ya.”

You can listen to the audio here, and wow. As if Vancouver didn’t have enough reasons to dislike this guy, now there’s that.

Mooney continues as well.

The "you don't know the game because you never played hockey" (either "at all" or "professionally") is a pretty lame insult in any case.

I'm not touching Tyler Seguin's Twitter quips regarding a different sort of gender identification as he did apologize, and apologies are generally best when stepping upon toes, regardless of one's choice of footwear, and Seguin was the only person out of this trio of hockey players to admit what we already know--we all say things that are insensitive, impolite and sometimes plain dumb, and the best thing to do when "caught" is to own up to one's gaffe.

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Comments

Evilpens's avatar

WTF should Cooke have to fight ?? & Neil wanted No part of Doug Murray or Robert Bortuzzo, But he did cheapshot Simon Despres who is not a fighter.

That is what Chrissy Neil does go after guys who don’t fight so he can “look” Tough

Posted by Evilpens on 04/23/13 at 05:35 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

“It looked like there was a penalty,” she said to Keith, in explaining why she was asking about the play.
“Oh no, I don’t think there was,” Keith responded. “I think he scored a nice goal. The ref was right there. That’s what the ref saw. We should get you as ref, maybe, hey?”
“Yeah, maybe,” Thompson responded. “I can’t skate, though.”
“First female referee… can’t play probably, either, right? But you’re thinking the game like you know it? Okay, see ya.”
You can listen to the audio here, and wow. As if Vancouver didn’t have enough reasons to dislike this guy, now there’s that.

I’m sorry but guys like this need a good beat down. Feckin little baby.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/23/13 at 07:16 AM ET

Avatar

First female referee… can’t play probably, either, right? But you’re thinking the game like you know it? Okay, see ya.”

If that is all there is to the “sexist” whining, I say whatever. She is female and would be the first so those are facts. He didn’t call her a “dumb” or say “go back to the kitchen” or some other disrespectful remark. This is a non story.

Posted by timbits on 04/23/13 at 08:16 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

“Hockey is for Everyone”

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/23/13 at 09:15 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

Don’t be obtuse and ignore context, Timbits.  A penis is not required to identify a slash and that’s his defense.  “It wasn’t a slash and you wouldn’t know anyway because you’re a girl.”

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 04/23/13 at 09:25 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Keith was artless. If he had left gender alone (lots of women play hockey at high levels) and attacked her for not having played the game, he’d be a much lesser jerk. The vast majority of the 20,000 watching him nightly and paying his salary have not played NHL caliber hockey.

shanetx is right on the money.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/23/13 at 09:32 AM ET

Avatar

Keith was artless. If he had left gender alone (lots of women play hockey at high levels) and attacked her for not having played the game, he’d be a much lesser jerk.

It would still be a BS argument.  You don’t need to be a professional hockey player (or writer or filmmaker or chef, etc) in order to be able to observe and judge hockey (or books or movies or food, etc.).

It’s an argument people use when they have no argument.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/13 at 09:46 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

Especially when it’s not a subjective matter.  I may not be able to appreciate everything Nicklas Lidstrom does as thoroughly as Niklas Kronwall can because I don’t have the experience and thats somewhat subjective.  I can, however, see a play, see a rule (like the ones about slashing) and determine if a rule was broken in the play.  I’m reasonably certain that girls are similarly capable despite their chromosomal makeup.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 04/23/13 at 09:52 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Keith came across as the bratty little 8yr old that’s gonna take his ball and leave the playground because a girl, observing, dared question whether he was safe at home during a kickball game. Fuch that little tool!

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/23/13 at 09:54 AM ET

Avatar

I’m reasonably certain that girls are similarly capable despite their chromosomal makeup.

I will say that lots of girls have an inability to judge hockey plays because of cooties.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/13 at 09:54 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

There are a few women hockey players that could out-muscle that elbow lifting f*** Keith.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/23/13 at 09:59 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Hitchcock managed to observe the game well enough to coach a team to the stanley cup.

Kieth’s a little bitch.  He’s one of the dirtiest fuchin’ players there are and why no one calls him on it blows my mind.  In all honesty, he’s one of the few hockey players I really hate.  Points like this just reinforce my opinion of his weakness.  I’d love to choke that MFer out.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/23/13 at 10:04 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

If that is all there is to the “sexist” whining, I say whatever. She is female and would be the first so those are facts. He didn’t call her a “dumb” or say “go back to the kitchen” or some other disrespectful remark. This is a non story.

Posted by timbits on 04/23/13 at 09:16 AM ET

Dude, next time you apply for a job, you better ask if they ever press charges first…

It’s an argument people use when they have no argument.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/13 at 10:46 AM ET

Precisely. 

I think that comment was well over the line.  I personally think the NHL should fine Keith for that.  As redxblack reminded us “Hockey is for Everyone,” there is no place for that crap in the game anymore.  Women have the same right as men to pursue a profession in sports reporting, playing, reffing, whatever…  To belittle someone like that is about as low as you can go.

As for Cooke… cowards will be cowards.  It’s easy to act tough when the other guy isn’t looking.  As for pulling high school antics outside of the locker room to intimidate reporters… pick on somebody your own size Matty (e.g. dropping the gloves like a sportsman when you’re challenged).

 

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/23/13 at 10:05 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Was anyone under the impression that those 2 boneheads are good guys?

Posted by Hootinani on 04/23/13 at 11:49 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

@Garth - I agree completely.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/23/13 at 12:49 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

As a spartan alum, I’m disappointed in Keith.  Typical Black_ock

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 04/23/13 at 05:24 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

Oh and I hope Kaleta and Cooke meet each other at center ice going 40mph knee to knee.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 04/23/13 at 05:26 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 04/23/13 at 06:26 PM ET

Knowing Cooke, it’ll be nut to butt.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/23/13 at 06:46 PM 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.

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