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Will Raffi Torres follow in Matt Cooke’s footsteps?

Apr 21, 2012, 5:21 PM EDT

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 20: Jordan Staal #11 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates his goal with Matt Cooke #24 and Kris Letang #58 during the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 20, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

Raffi Torres‘ 25-game suspension is one of the longest in the history of the NHL, so there’s not much to compare it with. However, one that comes to mind is Matt Cooke‘s punishment for elbowing Ryan McDonagh last season. For his actions, Cooke was suspended for the final 10 regular season games and the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Cooke promised to change following that suspension and for the most part, he has succeeded. He went from spending 129 minutes in the sin bin in 2010-11 to recording just 44 penalty minutes in 82 games this season. At the same time, he posted career-highs with 19 goals and 38 points.

Cooke acknowledged that longer suspensions do send a message.

“Yeah. I think messages are sent through suspensions for sure. I guess it’s how it’s perceived,” Cooke said.

So will Torres get the message or will it fall on deaf ears? He will almost certainly get another chance next season.

  1. eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 21, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Evander Kane gave cooke the good old fashion hockey police punishment !

  2. thehighcountrybear - Apr 21, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Don’t kid yourself…based on past performance, it’s clear the guy’s dumber than a sack full of hammers; why else would he be a repeat offender with no regard for his opponents health and safety. Listen to the interview after the fact and decide what’s long and hard on Raffi Torres…why, grade three of course!

  3. crashtheboards55 - Apr 21, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Just a matter of time until Hartnell gets “good old fashion hockey police punishment” Actually he won’t because he is too much of a b!tch to ever man up to someone he hits from behind. When he did Kunitz smashed his perm into the ice with a nice little knee to the face. I’m surprised Kunitz didn’t here from women’s rights groups about he assulted that poor woman.

    • crashtheboards55 - Apr 21, 2012 at 6:53 PM

      hear and assulting that poor woman

  4. th86cj7 - Apr 21, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Good rehabilitation for Cooke! haha give me a break! what is wrong with people, while this guy is being celebrated for his rehabilitation and turning his career and life around just go read up on Marc Savard and his life. Guy is struggling just to live, depression and all that comes with his injuries, and his career is all but over. I attribute this to the people you hear about who hurt someone in a drunk driving accident or a reformed inmate, yet the ones they have afflicted have all but been forgotten, give me a break. Guy was an absolute dirt ball who ruined several guys careers, and a few guys lives with his dirty hits.

  5. bmscalise - Apr 21, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    The Pens organization should be given a good deal of credit for Matt Cooke 2.0. They sat him down – Mario, Shero, Byslma – and not only told him he wouldn’t be welcome as a Penguin if he continued with those sort of hits – but also watched hundreds of hours of game tape with him to teach him when and how was appropriate to hit.

    Given the comments he made afterwards, I doubt Torres or the Coyotes have any interest in following suit.

  6. shortsxit - Apr 21, 2012 at 8:17 PM


    You’re exactly right. All of a sudden Cooke is a poster boy. Nobody can stop talking about how he’s changed and such a better player now. Yes, I give him credit for only taking 5 suspensions to figure it out…

    Nobody ever talks about the people who were injured in the past. And Cooke was suspended for similar, dirty plays *after* ending Savard’s career. He didn’t care.

    Poor Savard will never play again. But more importantly, his life is a wreck. He struggles with life every day. He gets horrible headaches every day. He gets dizzy and nauseous. He can’t go outside because of the sunlight. He can’t play with his children. He’s depressed and suicidal.

    But Cooke is a hero just because he hasn’t done this to another player this season.

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