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No Lessons Learned From Cooke Suspension

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Upon further review, the NHL’s draconian punishment of Penguins winger Matt Cooke looks preposterous and vindictive.

It has served no higher purpose, that’s for sure.

It has not altered the behavior of head-hunting players; it has not changed the pattern of neglect established long ago by NHL chief disciplinarian Colin Campbell. That much is clear in the first round — make that the knockout round — of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

I am no defender of Cooke, but what precedent was there for slapping him with a maximum 17-game suspension for his elbow on Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh? Valuing playoffs over regular season, it could be argued the suspension is more like 25 games — maybe more — which is beyond ludicrous. Prior to that, Cooke had been suspended 10 games over his 11-year career.

Now, look at Tampa Bay winger Steve Downie, who was suspended 20 games for a vicious hit on Ottawa’s Dean McAmmond three seasons ago. Downie delivered a carbon copy of that hit Monday night ... and was suspended for one game.

continued

thanks to a KK member for the pointer

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

bezukov's avatar

I am no defender of Cooke, but what precedent was there for slapping him with a maximum 17-game suspension for his elbow on Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh?

Hmm…. maybe it was the fact that Cooke has been suspended four times in two years for the same thing?  I think Downie and Kunitz (trained by non other than the Anaheim organization) are cheap shot artists, but the history of intent-to-injure plays with these players just aren’t as long as Cooke’s.  The Penguins organization, their press, and fans have displayed a remarkable amount of myopia throughout the headshot debate.

I’ll agree with the author that Downie and Kunitz should have been done with the series.  But his complaining that it was a response to Mario’s comments is weak.  Even if that is true, the NHL is a business, and Mario as an owner has a responsibility to keep that kind of crap in house.  We all agree that the NHL is inconsistent, but to hear someone from Pitt feeling sorry for themselves yet again is tiresome.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/21/11 at 10:52 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Grow Up ! This is a Guy who interviewed Rectum Campbell & asked why Cooke wasn’t suspended for the Hit On Savard so he isn’t exactly a apologist for Cooke, Mario or the Pens& RECTUM was ABSOLUTELY incredulous at Starkey when he ? him on it

Posted by Evilpens on 04/21/11 at 11:27 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Hmm…. maybe it was the fact that Cooke has been suspended four times in two years for the same thing?  I think Downie and Kunitz (trained by non other than the Anaheim organization) are cheap shot artists, but the history of intent-to-injure plays with these players just aren’t as long as Cooke’s.

Yeah, but Torres’ is and he got NOTHING.

Hindsight is that Campbell acted vindictively and that he wanted to use the Cooke suspension to shut people up for a short while but that he’s got no intention of seriously addressing the issue.

That pisses me off more than anything - the fact that we’re talking about the Matt Cooke suspension in the light that it was probably too long.  It should have set a standard and didn’t.  That makes me sick.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/21/11 at 11:34 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by PuckHound61 from Speckville USA on 04/21/11 at 10:37 AM ET

Do you have a Google alert that emails you when anyone on the internet says that Raffi Torres might occasionally throw an illegal hit? wink

The hits the article compares are not the same… but that being said, I do have to say I am very surprised Downey wasn’t suspended longer because he does have a history. It might not be as long as Matt Cooke’s, but it Downie has still managed to pile up a handful of cheap shots in a short period of time.

It’s the NHL. Everything related to officiating and supplemental discipline is going to be consistently inconsistent.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 04/21/11 at 11:45 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 04/21/11 at 10:45 AM ET

I asked this the day the 1 games were handed out to Kunitz and Downie and I’ll ask it again now, what if those incidents were in two seperate games?

The clown car that is the NHL rules brass and the guys that sign their paychecks are in way over their heads right now.  They have no idea what they are doing and where they are going.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/21/11 at 11:49 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Do you want to keep trolling me, or do you have anything to say about the Matt Cooke suspension?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/21/11 at 11:51 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

 
PuckHound61
You Butthead! JJ is comparing them because the columnist has them in his column &THIS;   Hmm…. maybe it was the fact that Cooke has been suspended four times in two years for the same thing?  I think Downie and Kunitz (trained by non other than the Anaheim organization) are cheap shot artists, but the history of intent-to-injure plays with these players just aren’t as long as Cooke’s.   

Reading comprehension not very good is it ? Or are you just that Frickin STUPID

Posted by Evilpens on 04/21/11 at 12:06 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/21/11 at 10:51 AM ET

Cut him some slack, he’s new to this postseaon success/hype thing.  He’s all tore up after that turd the Canucks laid on the ice in game 4.  He’s scared that Luongo cracked and the Canucks will never recover, so his panties are twisted and he is lashing out blindly at anyone he can on the Gore.

Rest, reflection and silence, Puckound.  It will help.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 04/21/11 at 12:09 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

So you don’t have anything to say about the Cooke suspension?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/21/11 at 12:14 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

Or consider Vancouver’s Raffi Torres, who in his first game back from a four-game, head shot-induced suspension, nearly decapitated Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook, who had not yet touched the puck behind his net. Torres was not suspended.

I guess I imagined reading this.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 04/21/11 at 12:32 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I guess I imagined reading this.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from gretzky_to_lemieux’s sandy vag on 04/21/11 at 11:32 AM ET

Go figure, the guy didn’t bother to do his homework.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/21/11 at 12:54 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Yeah, but Torres’ is and he got NOTHING.

Hindsight is that Campbell acted vindictively and that he wanted to use the Cooke suspension to shut people up for a short while but that he’s got no intention of seriously addressing the issue.

That pisses me off more than anything - the fact that we’re talking about the Matt Cooke suspension in the light that it was probably too long.  It should have set a standard and didn’t.  That makes me sick.

1.  I might be wrong on this, but I don’t think Torres has the same number of suspensions as Cooke, or that he throws cheapos quite as often.  However, don’t take my works to mean that I think Torres doesn’t deserve a worse reputation than he has.

2.  If Campbell was acting vindictively it might have been because the Pens organization/Cooke waved their middle finger at the injured players/league every time Cooke threw a cheap shot.  The icing on the cake was as soon as the Islanders gave the Pens a taste of their own medicine (not defending the Isles here, for the record), Mario Lemieux pitched a bitch fit.  Well pot meet kettle.  Campbell might have been retaliating (and I’m not sure he was wrong to do so if he did), but as far as I’m concerned I don’t see any black helicopters here. 

3. I agree with your last point.  The NHL needs to set a standard.  Personally, I think throwing a blindside hit/headshot should be an automatic two minutes, just like high sticking.  Then if the NHL needs to dole out further punishment they can do it the next day.  I think what we all want is consistency.

Grow Up ! This is a Guy who interviewed Rectum Campbell & asked why Cooke wasn’t suspended for the Hit On Savard so he isn’t exactly a apologist for Cooke, Mario or the Pens& RECTUM was ABSOLUTELY incredulous at Starkey when he ? him on it

1.  Dude, I mean this in all seriousness, your shorthand takes more time to read than if you had just typed it out properly.

2.  I would take your point a little more willingly about the author if the punchline of the whole article wasn’t about Campbell getting back at Lemieux.  It just robs the article of objectivity.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/21/11 at 01:02 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I dont click on the articles, only whats relevant and I trust Paul posts only whats relevant.

But maybe when you see that the people posting have brought up a topic not mentioned in Paul’s highlights you read a little deeper? 

Its pointless for you, your homer glasses are glued to your head, thus, they cant be removed.

You will be OK.

Hey I’ve been wanting to know for awhile now:  Are glass houses energy efficient?

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/21/11 at 01:04 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I dont click on the articles, only whats relevant and I trust Paul posts only whats relevant.

So it’s Paul’s fault you’re an idiot?

1.  I might be wrong on this, but I don’t think Torres has the same number of suspensions as Cooke, or that he throws cheapos quite as often.  However, don’t take my works to mean that I think Torres doesn’t deserve a worse reputation than he has.

I would venture to say that if Raffi Torres spent more of his career in a team that people paid as much attention to as the Penguins, he would have as many suspensions as Cooke.  Perhaps Cooke is a little dirtier, but Raffi Torres is one of the ten worst goons in the league.

2.  If Campbell was acting vindictively it might have been because the Pens organization/Cooke waved their middle finger at the injured players/league every time Cooke threw a cheap shot.  The icing on the cake was as soon as the Islanders gave the Pens a taste of their own medicine (not defending the Isles here, for the record), Mario Lemieux pitched a bitch fit.  Well pot meet kettle.  Campbell might have been retaliating (and I’m not sure he was wrong to do so if he did), but as far as I’m concerned I don’t see any black helicopters here.

My problem with doing it, even if it is something that could be argued as “deserved” is that it’s a complete abuse of the authority Campbell has.  The stakes for setting the standard are too high to screw things up with petty bullshit.  If they wanted to get properly vindictive, they should have fined the Penguins some even bigger fee and then failed to have lived up to that standard instead.

Either way, I think we’re in pretty close agreement about what the real problems are.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/21/11 at 01:13 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Either way, I think we’re in pretty close agreement about what the real problems are.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/21/11 at 12:13 PM ET

Ditto

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/21/11 at 01:17 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Im pretty certain its the non homers who laugh at you, they just dont like to go head on with you, but I do, so be happy someone is trying to set you straight, otherwise, your life would be wasted as a, well, homer.

Is that it?  That everybody else around here is simply “afraid” of me, where you aren’t?

I’m touched, but I really don’t think that’s the case.  If you’re waiting for your army to come out of the woodwork and support you, now would be a very good time for that to happen.

I’ll tell you what, PuckHound’s invisible army.  I promise that I won’t say anything mean to you if you comment about how heroic he is for standing up to me.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/21/11 at 01:36 PM ET

Avatar

Wow, see JJ… I agree with nearly everything you have said in this discussion smile

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 04/21/11 at 02:03 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 04/21/11 at 01:03 PM ET

See?  My dislike for the Penguins doesn’t ALWAYS color my opinions.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/21/11 at 02:06 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

I agree with JJ more often than Not, Guess he has intimated me too Huh?

Posted by Evilpens on 04/21/11 at 02:25 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I wouldn’t know, my mom found my penthouse magazine in her apartment LOL

Posted by PuckHound61 from Speckville USA on 04/21/11 at 12:07 PM ET

That would explain the lack of hitting the internet and actually knowing things. I can understand now - the net nanny won’t let you use google.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/21/11 at 02:34 PM ET

Avatar

There has to be a rigid system with no discretion.  2 games for first hit to head, intentional or not.  5 games for second 10 for third etc.  But please be aware that the receivers of these hits many times are putting THEMSELVES in the position to get hit like this.  Facing the boards, head down etc.  There seems to be some contributory negligence here.  Drawing penalties has become an art..  Will headshot rules lead to more careless play and therefore MORE injuries? Everytime the NHL tries to fix one thing another problem is oftentimes created.  The law of unintended consequences has to be taken into account.  The diver and faker will also have to be suspended for their behaviour.  And how do we factor in the contributory negligence of the player that was hit with the head shot?

Posted by 13 user names on 04/21/11 at 03:03 PM ET

Avatar

Im pretty certain its the non homers who laugh at you, they just dont like to go head on with you, but I do, so be happy someone is trying to set you straight, otherwise, your life would be wasted as a, well, homer.

Maybe there is hope for you JJ, we shall see once you jump on the Canucks bandwagon in the SC finals.

For some reason I read everything you post in the voice of comic book guy from the Simpsons.

Posted by herschel c. wollmack on 04/21/11 at 03:33 PM ET

Avatar

Guess he has intimated me too Huh?

I just want to be the first to say, there is nothing wrong with that.

Posted by ProjectMayhem on 04/21/11 at 05:13 PM ET

Avatar

I’m just dropping in to give PuckHound61 2 minutes for Instigating and 2 minutes for Unsportsmanlike Conduct - Trolling.

On topic, the writer does have a point. The NHL/Campbell are consistently inconsistent to the point of utter frustration.

Posted by Iggy Rules on 04/21/11 at 08:34 PM ET

Paul's avatar

The PuckHound issue has been settled.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/21/11 at 08:35 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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