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Matt Cooke Suspended Through First Round Of The NHL Playoffs

via Nick Kypreos tweet,

Cook suspended by #NHL rest of regular season and 1st round of Stanley Cup play-offs.

added 5:25pm,

TORONTO (March 21, 2011)—Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke has been suspended for the remainder of the regular season (10 games) and the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for delivering an elbow to the head of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh in NHL game #1080 yesterday, the National Hockey League announced today. Cooke will forfeit $219,512.20 in salary.

“Mr. Cooke, a repeat offender, directly and unnecessarily targeted the head of an opponent who was in an unsuspecting and vulnerable position,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell.  “This isn’t the first time this season that we have had to address dangerous behavior on the ice by Mr. Cooke, and his conduct requires an appropriately harsh response.”

Cooke’s most recent suspension was for four games on Feb. 9, 2011 and under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement forfeits his salary based on the number of games in the season (82), rather than the number of days (186). The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

The incident occurred at 4:36 of the third period and Cooke was assessed a major penalty for elbowing and a game misconduct.

Cooke will miss Pittsburgh’s remaining 10 regular-season games and be ineligible for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.   

added 5:50pm,

Following is a statement from Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Ray Shero after the National Hockey League ruled today that Penguins forward Matt Cooke will be suspended for the rest of the regular season (10 games) and the first round of the playoffs:

 

“The suspension is warranted because that’s exactly the kind of hit we’re trying to get out of the game. Head shots have no place in hockey. We’ve told Matt in no uncertain terms that this kind of action on the ice is unacceptable and cannot happen. Head shots must be dealt with severely, and the Pittsburgh Penguins support the NHL in sending this very strong message.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+cooke

Comments

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Bosephus's avatar

Oh snap!  Pleasantly surprised.

Posted by Bosephus from Behind enemy lines, Denver, CO on 03/21/11 at 06:10 PM ET

SK77's avatar

BOOM.

Posted by SK77 on 03/21/11 at 06:11 PM ET

SYF's avatar

My nipples are hard.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 03/21/11 at 06:16 PM ET

wolverine's avatar

They finally got one right.

Posted by wolverine on 03/21/11 at 06:17 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

Looks like the Cookie Monster has to eat his vegetables!

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 03/21/11 at 06:21 PM ET

Avatar

Ouch.

So that’s what it takes for Campbell to hand out a fitting suspension!
An habitual repeat offender/super long history, fan/media/team outrage, 2nd suspension in a season, making the offence not on the day of, but a week after league meetings to curb this type of conduct, and a guy that’s played around with one-too-many brains (in the NHL’s view).

A precedent has been set!

Posted by NathanBC on 03/21/11 at 06:24 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Definitely not long enough. As long as Cooke is playing in this league, his team mates will be targeted.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/21/11 at 06:25 PM ET

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Nice to see a sensible suspension.

Posted by Hockey2219 on 03/21/11 at 06:26 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised by the League.

Personally, I was hoping he was done for the year, playoffs included. 

But this suspension sets a serious tone dealing with this sort of conduct.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 03/21/11 at 06:32 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

I know I am in the minority, but I think the rest of the regular season would have been plenty.  Cooke is an absolute idiot, but when he is not acting like one, he is undoubtedly affective, and I think suspending him for only the remainder of the regular season punishes him substantially without having a huge effect on the team.  By letting the suspension run into the playoffs, it hurts the team more, and while they do employ him, they do not cater to his acting like a moron.  As a Pens fan, I am glad to see him punished and hope it finally gets through to him, but it is unfortunate to think that my team will be without one of its best penalty killers and agitators for the first round of the playoffs.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 03/21/11 at 06:35 PM ET

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Pens will not survive the first round of the playoffs. Matt Cooke has played his last game in a Pittsburgh jersey. They will get rid of him after this year. They would rather pay him out than deal with him, He might want to see if Europe likes concussions.

Posted by Casey from Mississauga on 03/21/11 at 06:38 PM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

As a non-Pens fan I’m pleasantly surprised about this. And Jeff, you should feel like its unfair and that the punishement transcends from just him to unfairly hurting his team’s chances of winning a cup. That’s exactly how all Pens should feel about it. That’s the point. Its a team sport and if someone is this irresponsible then they hurt their team, not just themselves.

Take it from a non-Pens fan, this suspension is the correct one and hopefully (although we know otherwise) sets precendent moving forward.

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 03/21/11 at 06:43 PM ET

Ian!'s avatar

Not long enough, but better than expected.

Posted by Ian! from Baltimore, MD on 03/21/11 at 06:43 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 03/21/11 at 05:35 PM ET
The NHL is at a point where the teams need to be held responsible for their employees actions, because of the actions of a guy like Matt Cooke.


Posted by Casey from Mississauga on 03/21/11 at 05:38 PM ET
Wow, wrong five times in four sentences. Impressive, until I saw that you misspelled your name too - that’s just astonishing.

Posted by NathanBC on 03/21/11 at 06:43 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Q:  So, is mario happy or sad today?


A:  Nobody knows, because he’s not talking.  confused

Posted by Down River Dan on 03/21/11 at 06:49 PM ET

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Good job Colie. You’ve set a precedent for repeated stupidity.

Now don’t screw it up like you did when you let Mike Richards and Matt Cooke skate after hammering Steve Downey for the same thing they did.

Posted by steviesteve on 03/21/11 at 06:58 PM ET

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By letting the suspension run into the playoffs, it hurts the team more,

That’s the point. Cooke hasn’t responded to short suspensions, ejections, code justice (Shawn Thornton, Evander Kane) or Marc Savard’s tears. Maybe he’ll respond when his teammates feel he’s screwed them over personally.

Posted by steviesteve on 03/21/11 at 07:03 PM ET

Avatar

Q:  So, is mario happy or sad today?
A:  Nobody knows, because he’s not talking. 
Posted by Down River Dan on 03/21/11 at 05:49 PM ET

added 5:50pm

Would you like to revise that now?

Posted by NathanBC on 03/21/11 at 07:06 PM ET

Avatar

Oh, and;

http://twitter.com/RealKyper/
I’m told #Pens Mario/Cooke had spoken at great length yesterday and was basically told to change the way he plays or leave.
about 6 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Posted by NathanBC on 03/21/11 at 07:08 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Definitely not long enough.

Fixed that for myself. wink

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/21/11 at 07:09 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

NHLJeff, it’s not just about punishing Cooke.  It is about also punishing the team, the organization that hired this goon. 

I’m also pleasantly surprised at this, but I would toss him for the rest of the year, playoffs and all.

LET’S GO RED WINGS !!!!!

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/21/11 at 07:09 PM ET

Avatar

Even blind squirrels find a nut.  Good call by the league on this one, however, it only matters if they keep enforcing things like this in this manner.  Otherwise, nothing has changed.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 03/21/11 at 07:10 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Would you like to revise that now?


The statement added at 5:50 was from Shero, not Mario.

But,i’m sure mario is fervishly typing an email to lil gary and air canada as we speak. So, it’s understandable that he hasn’t found time to speak to the media yet.

Posted by Down River Dan on 03/21/11 at 07:15 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Also, 140 chacters on twitter is not speaking to the media. that involves an assembled media corps, and a question/answer dialog. Compared to mario’s reaction after the islander/pens game, his silence yesterday and today is quite telling.

Posted by Down River Dan on 03/21/11 at 07:28 PM ET

Avatar

And now your thoughts, Mr. Lemieux?

Posted by ProjectMayhem on 03/21/11 at 07:33 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

“added 5:50pm”

Would you like to revise that now?

Posted by NathanBC on 03/21/11 at 06:06 PM ET

Are Shero and Lemieux the same person now?

Sorry, that’s not the point.  I’m glad the league did this.  I was starting to worry they’d let up on him too much.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/21/11 at 07:34 PM ET

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“Head shots must be dealt with severely, and the Pittsburgh Penguins support the NHL in sending this very strong message.”

Jesus Christ.

I’m sorry, I’m out of the conversation.

Posted by NathanBC on 03/21/11 at 07:40 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Shero speaks for the Penguins, but he does not speak for Mario Lemieux.

Lemieux lost the ability to let his GM do all his talking for him when he released those letters.  He let this cat out of the bag.  Lemieux doesn’t owe anybody any personal statements, but we’d all be a lot less curious about hearing from him if he hadn’t gotten started with this in the first place.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/21/11 at 07:48 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Thank you JJ.

Posted by Down River Dan on 03/21/11 at 07:52 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Teams should be forced to play with an empty roster spot for the duration of a suspension.
Perhaps then it wouldn’t take 3 or 4 instances to piss of the management, or team mates.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 03/21/11 at 07:53 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

I know I am in the minority, but I think the rest of the regular season would have been plenty.  Cooke is an absolute idiot, but when he is not acting like one, he is undoubtedly affective, and I think suspending him for only the remainder of the regular season punishes him substantially without having a huge effect on the team.  By letting the suspension run into the playoffs, it hurts the team more, and while they do employ him, they do not cater to his acting like a moron.  As a Pens fan, I am glad to see him punished and hope it finally gets through to him, but it is unfortunate to think that my team will be without one of its best penalty killers and agitators for the first round of the playoffs.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 03/21/11 at 05:35 PM ET

No, the time lost by the victims of his hits is unfair.

I think the suspension sends a good message.  A better message would be a 1-year ban from the NHL with reinstatement after that year based on his actions in the minors.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 03/21/11 at 08:23 PM ET

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I think the suspension sends a good message

The only way it sends a good message is what happens the next time something like this happens.  Otherwise, it’s the same inconsistent bullshit that has always happened.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 03/21/11 at 08:38 PM ET

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Hopefully when he gets back, if that Pens make it past the first round, someone clobbers him.

Posted by PuckHound61 from Speckville USA on 03/21/11 at 05:17 PM ET

I see you are familar with the workings of Abraham Lincoln…

Posted by Unicorn Force from DC (but like everyone here, I'm not a local) on 03/21/11 at 09:02 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Good Lord you guys blinded by your hatred Of Cooke to see More Incompetence by Rectum Campbell !! rest of season No Problem !! 1st Rd. of Playoffs Typical Dick Swinging by Rectum ! Showing Mario who is in charge

Posted by Evilpens on 03/21/11 at 09:04 PM ET

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How could Pittsburgh has not stripped him of his Associate Captaincy, If they are so set on cleaning up the league, yet they let this person who is clearly part of the problem set an example for the rest of the team.

Posted by wingsnut25 from Cheboygan, MI on 03/21/11 at 09:23 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Mario’s silence is a loud statement.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 03/21/11 at 09:38 PM ET

Avatar

Mario’s silence is a loud statement.

I would think it’s a statement that he agrees with the punishment, like all the other suspensions the Pens have gotten in the past that he did not comment on.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 03/21/11 at 09:41 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Teams should be forced to play with an empty roster spot for the duration of a suspension.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 03/21/11 at 06:53 PM ET

This.

All this truly goes away if this happens.

It’s so simple it’ll never happen though.

Posted by Primis on 03/21/11 at 09:42 PM ET

Avatar

I would think it’s a statement that he agrees with the punishment, like all the other suspensions the Pens have gotten in the past that he did not comment on.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 03/21/11 at 08:41 PM ET

Don’t you think that after his comments regarding teams and management needing to take ownership that now would be an excellent opportunity to lead by example?  Do you really believe that his silence is an affirmative statement?

Posted by Unicorn Force from DC (but like everyone here, I'm not a local) on 03/21/11 at 11:42 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by Evilpens on 03/21/11 at 08:04 PM ET

What the hell are you going on about?

Posted by Garth on 03/21/11 at 11:43 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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