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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

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Luongo-is-my-hero's avatar

Mario:  I didn’t see the play, it happened so fast so I can’t comment on it.

Posted by Luongo-is-my-hero on 03/22/11 at 01:05 AM 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 10:43 PM ET

Garth, it reminds me of Van Gogh’s yellow vision phase, no?

Posted by Unicorn Force from DC (but like everyone here, I'm not a local) on 03/22/11 at 01:06 AM ET

clownfat's avatar

“A better message would be a 1-year ban from the NHL with reinstatement after that year based on his actions in the minors.”

While I agree with your desire to to penalize the teams a roster spot, why on earth is it okay for Cooke to be banished to the minors where he has the opportunity to beat up prospects? If he doesn’t change his ways then you are taking a chance of him injuring careers at an even earlier age. That is not a good idea in my opinion at all. If he were to be suspended for a year than I wouldn’t allow him to go play for any team even remotely related to an NHL team. I would think his options would be the KHL or uhm… Swedish Elite League I guess? I would try to get those leagues to honor the suspension as well if thats at all legal.

Posted by clownfat on 03/22/11 at 01:06 AM ET

Avatar

The NHL actually got it right this time because not only did they nail him for the 10 regular season games they hit him where it really hurts - the playoffs. He obviously didn’t learn from the previous 4 suspensions so maybe now that something every NHLer cares about is taken away from him he may finally let it sink in (although I somehow doubt it). The NHL’s motivation in the whole affair is still suspect since it looks like they did it to save face and not because they actually care about player safety, but they finally did get it right.

As for the apologists that feel he is a good hockey player and that this move hurts the team, so what? Isn’t that the point of a suspension? Teams are supposed to be held accountable and in this case they finally are. He is a decent hockey player, but when did that give him the right to attempt to end someone’s career. Maybe his effectiveness is completely tied to the fact that he has no compunction about injuring other players. Maybe after the suspension we’ll see if he is a hockey player or a player that relies on the threat of injury.

It is the ridiculous notion that “affective” hockey players are somehow above severe punishment that allows guys like Pronger to targte heads, gets Heatley only two games, allows Ovechkin to be “reckless” and repeat offenders to be forever more emeboldened until someone is eventually killed. Punishing the Gillies, Godards, Simons, and McSorleys of the league means nothing, they are a dime a dozen and easily replaced.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 03/22/11 at 11:40 AM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

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 06:48 PM ET

But if the shoe was swinging from the other foot, you guys would be blindly defending your hero/savior/legend the way we are/were. 

I really think it’s asinine to assume if he speaks out once about the matter, he needs to say something every time one of these things happens. 

Except when that guy in Long Island who only got 9 games came back on his 3rd shift and did the exact same thing he got suspended for (minus the punching while the injured player was facedown on the ice/taunting afterwards stuff) on his third shift back. 

No one was calling for Mario’s opinion then.  Why is that?  Because he was right?

Mario’s silence is a loud statement.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 03/21/11 at 08:38 PM ET

Someone on one of the other 15 Matt Cooke threads the past couple of days said because Mario didn’t comment on the situation, he was okay with Cooke’s reckless play.

Now, his silence means the exact opposite?  That he disagrees with the suspension because he hasn’t released a statement?

Grasping wildly at straws, it seems.  Or it’s just a case of potato, potahhhhhhto.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 03/22/11 at 12:02 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I really think it’s asinine to assume if he speaks out once about the matter, he needs to say something every time one of these things happens.

I’m not the one who said he needs to say anything.  Quite the opposite, actually.  I’m just saying that we’re all curious to see how he’s going to react.

Except when that guy in Long Island who only got 9 games came back on his 3rd shift and did the exact same thing he got suspended for (minus the punching while the injured player was facedown on the ice/taunting afterwards stuff) on his third shift back. 

No one was calling for Mario’s opinion then.  Why is that?  Because he was right?

That’s probably because the 2nd Gillies suspension came after an Islanders/Wild game that had nothing but the most tentative attachment to the Penguins.  I’d say the Cooke suspension is at least slightly different in terms of how much of an effect this one has on the team Mario owns.

But if the shoe was swinging from the other foot, you guys would be blindly defending your hero/savior/legend the way we are/were.

I don’t envy you Penguins fans being forced to blindly support anybody.  If anything, perhaps this gives you all a little perspective on Ted Leonsis’ habit of continuously opening his mouth.  Times like this I really appreciate having an owner who keeps his business behind the curtain.  It’s as frustrating as hell sometimes never hearing anything, but watching the reactions and counter-reactions to Lemieux, it certainly helps me appreciate it.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/22/11 at 12:19 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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