Everyone’s heard of Matt Cooke. He’s infamous around the league for his “dirty” plays and hated by many fans. But the latest incident involving Matt Cooke has ignited more hatred than any other, probably because this time, a team’s star and very gifted defenseman Erik Karlsson was injured and taken out of the game for the remainder of the season.
Here’s the incident, you make a judgement for yourself, was it dirty?
The unfortunate injury to Karlsson, in my mind, was not intentional. Now don’t take me for a Matt Cooke fan, I am nothing of the sort. I remember vividly sitting in Mellon Arena as Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard was rolled off the ice on a stretcher following an elbow from Matt Cooke. For those who don’t know, Savard has still not returned to the ice, and I don’t think he ever will.
A poll by ESPN’s Sportsnation can be seen here. They asked whether or not Cooke should face supplemental discipline for the incident. Of the 29,361 that responded, 63 percent in the United States said no. Only two states had a yes majority. Not surprisingly they were Massachusetts and Vermont. Internationally 61 percent said no.
Rash comments and over-emotional reactions are expected from fans when star players are injured. And with Cooke’s history, it’s hard to argue for his innocence. If he hadn’t cleaned up his game so much last season, I’d be with those irrational Ottawa fans. But when an executive gets involved and makes unnecessary comments, the line must be drawn. Yes, the injury will affect their team greatly. Of course it will, but it was an accident.
Below is a statement made by Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk in an ESPN interview.
“Over the coming weeks, we’ll get to the bottom of it. … You can’t see it on camera, that’s why you can’t blame the league for this or anyone else. On camera you look at it, but when you look at it logically, you’ve got a blade that has to cut through socks, has to then cut through skin, fat, muscle, everything that protects the tendon, then cuts 70 percent of the tendon.”
Melnyk must have missed the memo that skates are sharp. Socks are not very thick, my toes can tell you that by their impersonations as ice cubes. And unless your skin is the same as Superman’s, it won’t take much to slice through it.
At the end of the day, the league has the final say. Irrational comments should be kept for ranting behind closed doors, not public interviews. If the league says it was an accident, then that is exactly what it was. Click here to read the rest of the interview.