Well, let’s hope the sixth time is the charm for Matt Cooke. The DoPS has decided to deliver a seven game suspension to the Wild winger for his hit on Tyson Barrie. The only reason why I can’t put him in the same category as John Scott is that Matt Cooke can actually play the game (when he isn’t out there crippling people, ending careers or just being a menace to hockey). That suspension will hurt the Minnesota Wild’s chances as they attempt a deep playoff run this season.
There are rules and statistics in the game that have been added over the years due to a players’ exploits and deeds. The Gordie Howe Hat Trick is one of them. Matt Cooke is one of the players that has had a rule changed specifically because of him. The NHL might as well call Rule 48.1 ‘Cooke’s Law’. Why did 48.1 get a make over? This hit. That cheap shot effectively ended the career of Marc Savard, and earned Cooke a permanent place in the ire of Bruins’ fans. (Not to mention Don Cherry.)
In the NHL video, they Department of Player Safety discusses the fact that kneeing penalties are very subjective, and many of those hit do not require supplementary discipline. (Brendan Smith‘s knee on knee hit to Brad Marchand being the most recent example.) They also remind people that while Cooke is not a repeat offender under the terms of the CBA, he has a substantial record of run-ins with DoPS.
For those of you who would like to see the complete video record of Cooke’s “accomplishments”, here is a link to an article on SI.com that shows the videos of his hits and the consequences of them. This is one of the people that few NHL players and even fewer fans miss when this guy finally gets off the ice for good. For those of you who desire an abridged version, I offer you this. (That it came from a die-hard Penguins fans should demonstrate the contempt Cooke has earned across the league’s fan base.)
— Tyler Stadnyk (@Malkin2Neal) April 22, 2014