Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cooke Suspended for Rest of Season and First Round

The NHL handed down it's punishment to Matt Cooke yesterday afternoon after a 1:30 PM disciplinary hearing at which Cooke was present.  The league suspended him for the rest of the season (10 games remaining in the Penguins schedule) and the first round of the playoffs (4+ games).  His wallet will also be $219,512.20 lighter.

With such a drastic punishment, Cooke won't be the only one feeling the affects from this suspension.  The team will certainly be missing his presence on the ice especially during the playoffs.  However harsh, the hit is what the NHL has been struggling to control and one, I believe, that requires this type of statement by the league.  Ray Shero agrees.
“The suspension is warranted because that’s exactly the kind of hit we’re trying to get out of the game. Head shots have no place in hockey. We’ve told Matt in no uncertain terms that this kind of action on the ice is unacceptable and cannot happen. Head shots must be dealt with severely, and the Pittsburgh Penguins support the NHL in sending this very strong message.”
I'm hoping that the league will try to follow through on this with some type of consistency - moreso than they have in the past.  If they can manage that, I believe that it will definitely make a difference and bring about more protection and safety for the players.  In Matt Cooke's case, it looks like it's already creating a change according to a recent interview between Cooke and the Trib's Rob Rossi and that's a great thing to hear.

No comments: