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The Malik Report

Zetterberg wants the NHL to “throw the book” at Matt Cooke

Updated at 7:02 PM: Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg spoke in very specific and concrete terms when he was asked what the NHL should do in terms of dealing with Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke’s latest suspend-able offense, as he told the Sporting News’s Craig Custance:

Henrik Zetterberg isn’t one to make outlandish statements. The Red Wings star forward typically lets his play do the talking. But when asked what he would do if he were handing out the suspension for Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke, he didn’t hesitate.

“At least the season,” Zetterberg said. “I don’t think he should play any more this year. And then we just have to see what we’re going to do after that.”

Zetterberg later clarified that when he says season, he means the whole thing. Playoffs included.

“He keeps doing stuff over and over,” Zetterberg said. “I think the suspensions he gets doesn’t really bother him. He keeps going out and doing that stuff.”
...
“We have to be harder on suspensions. Especially guys who do this over and over again,” he said. “We have to respect each other as a player. You can’t go out and hurt a guy like that. It could be career-ending.”

Update: The Wings kept talking about Cooke’s M.O. while speaking to USA Today’s Kevin Allen...

“It seems like a pattern, between the first four, five or six guys throughout the league ... that have constantly done the same thing,” said Detroit Red Wings center Mike Modano. “I don’t know how you get your point across to those guys.”
...
Before the suspension was handed down, Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg said Cooke should be suspended for the rest of the regular season and playoffs.

“I think the suspensions he gets doesn’t really bother him,” Zetterberg said. “He keeps going out and doing that stuff.”

And the same’s true for Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:

For now though, Zetterberg will still keep his head on a swivel when Cooke’s anywhere in the building.

“Honestly,” began Zetterberg, whose Red Wings hosted Pittsburgh Monday night. “You just have to be aware to see.

“He keeps doing stuff over and over. I think the suspensions he gets doesn’t really bother him. He keeps going out and doing that stuff.”

 

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Comments

Russian Rocket's avatar

The Pens beat writer Rossi has a ton of quotes from Wings/Pens coaches and players on this subject.

  http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/breaking/s_728444.html

Posted by Russian Rocket on 03/21/11 at 05:18 PM ET

Avatar

from that article:
A suspension would be Cooke’s fifth in the NHL and his fourth in the past three seasons with the Penguins – a span over which he has missed eight games.”

Three suspensions since January ‘09 for a total of eight games for an infamously dirty player.

Posted by NathanBC on 03/21/11 at 05:26 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

I’m so sick of this quote:
“He’s played on the edge physically and been an effective player playing that way”

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/breaking/s_728444.html#ixzz1HGSYp0jQ

Translation: We like it when he plays dirty, but not too dirty.
Every human being who’s played hockey knows you shouldn’t throw elbows.
Cooke doesn’t care. He really doesn’t and I think we all know now that he’s definitely mentally challenged. He needs help psychologically. Of that there is not doubt.

The NHL should sit him for the rest of the season and force him to pass a mental exam and take counselling courses before he’s allowed back in the NHL.
The man is a complete lunatic and shouldn’t be allowed to have children let alone an NHL career.

On another note, I want to see Mario put his money where his mouth is at.
Regardless of what the NHL hands down, Mario should sit him for the rest of the season. And then he should look into sending him to the minors until he can prove he’s capable of playing a clean game.

Posted by Hank1974 on 03/21/11 at 05:39 PM ET

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McKenzie is tweeting his guess is 8 games. Is that going to be sufficient? Does that seem like an amount that will teach Cooke not to target player’s heads or play recklessly?

As for Mr. Lemiuex putting his money where his mouth is, I think I can find a constructive way to address the issue. Based on his repeat offender formula he could donate the money to a charity that focuses on traumatic head injuries. In the absence of an NHL fine he would be proactively implementing his suggestion.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 03/21/11 at 05:51 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

If it’s anything less than 8 games I’m done with the NHL. Completely done with it!
I’ll get my hockey fix from NCAA and my kids minor hockey games.

I am so sick and tired of this horse<bleep> league with it’s head-shots, super-pests, inflated goalies, low scoring, bi-polar disciplinarian and it’s midget bobblehead commissioner who doesn’t know hockey from Helen.

Screw the NHL!!!

Posted by Hank1974 on 03/21/11 at 06:03 PM ET

awould's avatar

Remember the days when Sean Avery’s juvenile antics were the league’s biggest problem? I now recall those times with fondness, and I hate Matt Cooke for that reason.

Posted by awould on 03/21/11 at 06:15 PM ET

Bosephus's avatar

Tell us how you really feel Hank :p
I’m hoping for 10 games but expecting 6-8.  I’m also hoping somebody ignores the instigator rule after his inevitable next cheapshot.

Posted by Bosephus from Behind enemy lines, Denver, CO on 03/21/11 at 06:16 PM ET

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Bylsma said he will work with Cooke, who is experiencing a “learning curve” in an NHL where blindside hits are no longer tolerated… He’s not been all that comfortable with that situation.” – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

This is why I said the best thing the Penguins could do is keep quiet until the NHL hands down the suspension and not say too much more. Bylsma’s quotes are not helping Cooke by making it seem like they believe he is somewhat of a victim of a game that has changed around him.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 03/21/11 at 06:24 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

My guess is he gets 5 games. If I were in charge, I would give him the rest of the regular season, and 5 games in the playoffs. However, lil gary’s manlove for the pens will shine through.

By the way the hearing was slated for 1:30 pm ET. it’s now past 4:30 pm. JFC how long does it take to hold this hearing??????

Posted by Down River Dan on 03/21/11 at 06:32 PM ET

Bosephus's avatar

By the way the hearing was slated for 1:30 pm ET. it’s now past 4:30 pm. JFC how long does it take to hold this hearing??????
Posted by Down River Dan

He’s probably just getting a stern scolding as the wheel of justice is spinning, most likely landing on a joke of a suspension.

Posted by Bosephus from Behind enemy lines, Denver, CO on 03/21/11 at 06:59 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.