Ok let’s start the debate again. Was Matt Cooke’s blindside hit on Marc Savard legal or not? It was clearly cruel and intentional but was it illegal?
I have listened to the guys who call themselves “old school” and claim its part of the game and Savard has a responsibility to protect himself.
I am old school but obviously I went to a very different school. I love hard hockey but I greatly dislike hockey without honor and that hit had no honor. I watched it 20 times on Youtube and Cooke clearly saw what he wanted to do and also clearly knew Savard had no clue he was behind him. That is the key for me. Hitting a man like that simply because you can, knowing he doesn’t see it coming is just wrong.
I have spoken to Matt Cooke several times and have always enjoyed the conversations. He seems like a wonderful guy, but you can’t escape the history. All you have to do is type his name into Youtube and you can find all the video you want. His hit on Shean Donovan that blew his knee out. His head shot on Artem Anisimov which got him a measly 2 game suspension. The time he kicked Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood. His kneeing of young Zach Bogosian. Blowing out Eric Cole’s knee. Slew footing Kurtis Foster. Crosschecking Andrei Markov from behind into the boards. Anyone can go to Youtube and type in his name and these are some of the videos’ that come up, but these aren’t the only incidents.
There is a very serious pattern here. The pattern is a complete disregard for other player’s safety. There also seems to be too much evidence to suggest this is just a series of coincidences from a player who has to play on the “edge”.
My question is, why is a player with this history not seeing the level of supplementary discipline escalating? You don’t injure this many people by accident.
Talk of a “new rule” this summer to be added which will curb these kind of hits kind of makes me chuckle. The NHL rule book is already twice as thick as it needs to be. Officials can’t call current rules consistently enough now and we are going to add more rules? How about this for a revelation. The rule already exists. It’s called intent to injure. That is already in the book and is next to never used despite the fact players in this league intend to injure each other every night.
Officials need to use the power they currently have to do their part. The NHL needs supplementary discipline at a high enough level to change behavior and players need to find a way to inject a little honor back into the game.
The countdown clock is ticking. We are getting closer and closer to the next on-ice death. Mark my words it will happen and when it does all 3 of the above mentioned bodies will have questions to answer.
See you at the rink.