As of this writing Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke is spending quality time with NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell to discuss the former’s attempted decapitation of Rangers D Ryan McDonagh yesterday. While the results of this chit-chat are presently unknown, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks considers throwing the book at Cooke a no-brainer, calling the Penguin forward, “a 24/7 blight”.
“Don’t worry — he should get 10 games,” Rangers general manager Glen Sather called out across the postgame locker room to McDonagh, who was not suffering from concussion-like symptoms at any time before flying home.
That suggested sentence, which should be the bare minimum applied to this serial miscreant, happens to equate to the number of games the Penguins have remaining in the regular season, beginning with a match tonight in Detroit.
Anything less would be an admission that all of the talk of concern about concussions and cracking down against repeat offenders is nothing but hot air. Anything less would expose the league hierarchy as the classic example of an operation whose actions are not in synch with its words.
As was noted on the obscure broadcast network known as NBC yesterday, Mario Lemieux has been one of the more outspoken critics of the league’s cavalier approach to such acts of thuggery. Presumably, if Cooke is served with anything less than a season-ending suspension, will Super Mario be the first person to call Gary Bettman in protest?