The Minnesota Wild have been eliminated from the NHL Playoffs by the Chicago Blackhawks. The rest of the NHL should thank the Blackhawks, now Matt Cooke is off the ice for at least the rest of this season.
Cooke, who is just off a seven-game suspension for a knee-to-knee hit on Tyson Barrie, has decided to play the villain yet again. Last night, Cooke took the rule book and ignored everything about hitting from behind, delivering a hit with no regard for player safety. The Wild forward is not without hockey skill, but he is without a shred of self-control, and now the question will once again be brought up: Is it time for Matt Cooke to find a new league to play in?
Just because I can’t believe Cooke is so ignorant, we found a GIF for you to watch, thanks to SB Nation.
One could try to argue the hit on Johnny Oduya was in part due to the slight turn Oduya made, but that’s simply not true. Matt Cooke came flying in and engaged contact. There was no attempt to move and that hit did not need to be made. Cooke is looking at the seventh suspension of his career (and perhaps should have been suspended in two other instances), and it should be the final suspension of his career.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has the chance to finally show this is not okay. It’s time for a one-year suspension, if not the end of Cooke’s career. But I’m sure that will not happen; after all, this is the NHL.
If the NHL doesn’t get a clue soon, players will take matters into their own hands. It’s time to get rid of the instigator rule, and allow players to once again watch their backs, as the NHL clearly cannot police the game.