Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: matt cooke
By now, we’ve all seen the nasty hit delivered to the head of Ryan McDonagh by Matt Cooke. Just in case, I’ll post it after the jump. I think even the most dedicated Penguins fan will admit that the elbow was brought up intentionally and that he targeted McDonagh’s head. The “intent to injure” might not be as cut and dried, but the act itself is pretty clear. By now, we’ve all also heard the shots fired at the NHL by Mario Lemieux after the recent incidents from Trevor Gillies of the Islanders. We’ve also heard his proposal for a multi-tiered system of fines for clubs when their players get suspended and the doubling of fines for repeat offenders.
There’s something ironic about the fact that there’s an article in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about how some of the Penguins players, including Matt Cooke are in favor of the league’s efforts to firmly penalize head hits. At the GM meetings last week, it was reported that Penguins GM Ray Shero was hoping for a vote in favor of going beyond Rule 48—the “Matt Cooke” rule—to impose a blanket ban on all head shots.
Cooke doesn’t agree with going that far, but agrees that something has to be done. His quote from the article:
I think the biggest concern out of all of this at the meetings was: Something needs to be done, but without it being a knee-jerk reaction. It’s something that they’re aware of. They’re working at it. I think it’s a process. They’re going to do what’s best, or at least recommend what’s best, not only for the game, but also the players.
His actions, unfortunately, speak louder than his words, and not in a good way. I’m anxious to hear his comments and more importantly, Mario Lemieux’s comments on this matter.
After nearly three days of waiting for the ruling on Matt Cooke’s blindside hit which has apparently ended Marc Savard’s season, NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell made his shocking decision: no suspension for Cooke. Consistency has never been one of Campbell’s calling cards. His bizarre method of justice has never made any sense. Somewhere in his office, he has a disciplinary wheel of fortune, a dartboard of justice, a random number generator. Nobody ever knows what to expect when a player has a meeting with Campbell. Sometimes identical incidents result in widely differing supplemental discipline against the offending player.
Perhaps, then, this decision not to suspend Matt Cooke isn’t surprising at all.
Instead of saying “we made a mistake with the Mike Richards incident, and we want to get it right this time”, Campbell said he needs to be consistent. Never mind that he’s never been consistent at all. The really dangerous thing is that Campbell has played the “consistency” card and he will have to live with that for the remainder of this season. Other players now know that they can deliver blind-side head-high hits and not be held accountable. The safety of the players is being totally disregarded.