Pittsburgh Penguins winger Matt Cooke has always had a reputation for being a dirty player. Once again, he finds himself at the center of a controversial play that has resulted in serious injury for an opponent.
During a win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night, Cooke threw what appeared to be a clean hit on Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, but the replay revealed that it was more dangerous than one might have initially thought. Cooke lifted his skate off the ice (something players should try not to do in any situation) and stuck it into the back of Karlsson’s leg. There’s no telling whether or not it was intentional, but the result was a ruptured Achilles tendon for Karlsson. He is out indefinitely and could miss the rest of the season.
“It’s Matt Cooke. What else should I say?” Senators general manager Bryan Murray said after the game, according to Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Watch the replay.”
Karlsson is the reigning Norris Trophy winner, so you can understand why Murray is upset. You can judge for yourself whether or not you think the contact was intentional, but given Cooke’s reputation you can also understand why Murray said what he did about him.
These are the reasons people were so happy when Cooke got punched out a few years back. Intentional or not, the injury is a major blow to the Senators, who have already dealt with a number of injuries this season.
H/T Pro Hockey Talk