Pittsburgh Penguins forward and all around dirty player Matt Cooke was suspended for the remainder of the NHL season and first round of the playoffs for his flying elbow hit to Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh. Cooke will be forced to sit out at least 14 games (10 left for Pittsburgh in the regular season) and loses $219,512.20 in salary.
The suspension is Cooke’s second this year for a dirty hit, his first was just last month on a cheap shot delivered to Fedor Tyutin of the Blue Jackets.
Despite the harsh sentence, Pittsburgh did not dispute the NHL’s ruling. In fact Penguins general manager Ray Shero supported the league’s decision. “Head shots have no place in hockey, Shero told ESPN.com. “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.”
You may remember Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau calling out Matt Cooke for a knee-on-knee cheap shot on Alex Ovechkin in early February. “He’s done it to everybody and then he goes to the ref and says: ‘What did I do?’ He knows damn well what he did,” Boudreau said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s good at it and he knows how to do it.”