a·cu·men [ak-yuh-muhn] noun: keen insight; shrewdness

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Sunday, 20 March 2011

03/20/11 6.0 Close the Book on Matt Cooke

After yet another blatant shot to an opposing player's head, it's time for the NHL to remove Matt Cooke from the game.

The elbow can be seen here:


It is as blatant as it gets. There can be no doubt that he intentionally stuck out the elbow to connect with Ryan McDonough's head.

I for one have had enough of Matt Cooke. There is simply no room in the game for players like him. Anyone who goes out with the intention to injure another player doesn't belong in the NHL. I'm fully aware that the NHL is unlikely remove a player from the league, but if it did happen I wouldn't have the least bit of pity for Cooke.

His antics are the type that can end a player's career. His blindside hit on Marc Savard last season has severely limited Savard's ability to get back into the game, and Savard is the kind of player the league needs more of, not less. It's the Cookes who deserve to be ejected, pronto. I was disgusted when Cooke didn't get a suspension for that hit simply because there wasn't technically a rule against clobbering an unsuspecting opponent from the blind side. The one slight positive about that hit was that it directly resulted in the rule change that now makes such hits illegal and suspendable.

But try telling Marc Savard that there's a plus side to more than a year of concussion symptoms.

Not that it would have mattered if Cooke had been suspended for the Savard hit. Cooke has already been suspended once this season, and it didn't teach him a thing. It boggles the mind how a player like Sean Avery can say the words "sloppy seconds" and be suspended indefinitely, and yet a player like Cooke gets a slap on the wrist and continues to go out and wreak havoc. I hate Avery as much as the next guy, but words are never going to put a player out for the season.

Cooke has shown that he isn't going to learn; at least not the lessons that the NHL is handing down. Sean Avery will never be accused of being a stand-up guy, but he certainly hasn't been the lightning rod of scandal that he was before he nearly lost his career. It's time to send a message.

The bottom line is this: it is the job of the league to protect its players. Matt Cooke is dangerous and wreckless, and the suspensions he has had clearly haven't been enough. If the NHL is really serious about taking not only dangerous plays, but repeat offenders out of the game, it's time to take them out of the game.

Matt Cooke's career should be over.

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