Thursday, February 10, 2011

Beat On The Brat

Photo by Getty Images

A little late chiming in on Matt Cooke's latest run in with the NHL Disciplinary system. For those that missed it, the following hit took place on Fedor Tyutin of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night:

2 days after that, Cooke was suspended four games. And there has been a lot of outrage. Deserved outrage in my opinion. Cooke has built up a large resume of "questionable" hits and incidents in the last few years. He clipped Alex Ovechkin's skates when the Pens played the Capitals on Sunday. And now this. Cooke will forfeit over $80,000 of his salary during that suspension. I have to wonder, if losing that amount of money isn't enough to make this guy reconsider how he plays what will?

I'm also shaking my head at the NHL for not taking a firm stand on this guy's behavior. When Sean Avery stood in front of Martin Brodeur's net waving his arms and stick around to obstruct his view, the NHL put an official rule on the books making that act illegal in the sport. They are very lucky that Tyutin's neck wasn't broken or worse. It took them years to recover from the Todd Bertuzzi/ Steve Moore incident and all the bad press. Not to mention the end of Steve Moore's playing career. Is it going to take someone being paralyzed or killed on the ice before Bettman deigns to stop such dirty play?

20 year NHL veteran Ken Daneyko stated that the NHL should declare on open season on Cooke for one week. That any player who hit him or fought him, whatever.. no matter what, they would not get suspended. He sees that as the only way that might stop Cooke from playing dirty for the rest of the career. I'm inclined to agree. According to the rules, players have no real recourse against Cooke and the league that governs them isn't protecting them. If he faced regular tastes of his own medicine, I bet we would be seeing a much different Cookie on the ice.

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