NHL suspends Matt Cooke
Published: Friday, March 25, 2011
Updated: Friday, March 25, 2011 15:03
Eight more games of the regular season. Guess who won't be playing in them. Matt Cooke has managed to find himself suspended. Again.
In his three seasons with the Penguins he has been suspended four times. Cooke won't even be playing in the first round of the playoffs. The debate for head shots being removed from the NHL seems to be circling around Pittsburgh this season.
Sidney Crosby just started to skate again after being blindsided by two hits and struggling with a concussion.
How can a team like the Penguins be upset with Crosby's injury, yet have a player like Cooke who gives hits like the one that took Crosby out?
I'm not discrediting Cooke's playing. I believe he is a good player and a big part of the Penguins' team. But the Pens need to take more of a stand. If Cooke delivers another head hit, the team needs to look into disciplinary action of their own, even if that includes trading him.
This seems oddly similar to what the NFL was going through during their last season. Remember all the James Harrison issues?
The league was nervous about helmet-to-helmet hits because of concussions and brain damage. This is similar to what the NHL is going through right now.
With players like Marc Savard and Sidney Crosby being knocked out of commission because of head hits, the league may be starting to feel the heat. Though the NFL hits may look more intense because of the sport, taking an elbow to the head is just as harmful to the brain.
The NHL needs to pay attention to the way the NFL handled things. I'm not saying that everything the National Football League did was right or done the best way, I'm only saying that maybe the NHL needs to look at what they did and use it as a starting point.
There was debate about taking fighting out of hockey for the reason of someone getting knocked out and hitting the ice. What's the difference between that and someone getting an elbow to the face and being knocked out in the course of a play?
With the playoffs right around the corner, the Penguins needs to lick their wounds and rally around the players that still are on the ice.
Brooks Orpik and Eric Tangradi are practicing with the team again, which is good news.
Though Crosby is progressing, he has not joined the team for practice and putting an exact date for when he will return would be unreliable. So in the first round of the playoffs the Penguins will be without Malkin, Cooke and possibly Crosby.
Let's hope no more head hits leave the Penguins without valuable