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Cooke won’t be punished over Karlsson’s injury

Feb 14, 2013, 9:52 AM EDT

Karlsson hurt

The NHL has reviewed Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke‘s hit on Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson and determined that it’s not a punishable offense, according to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch. Ultimately, the NHL didn’t see any intent on the part of Cooke.

The incident occurred in the third period of Pittsburgh’s 4-2 victory over Ottawa on Wednesday. Cooke’s skate caught Karlsson’s leg and the 22-year-old blueliner was forced to leave the game with a lacerated Achilles tendon.

Karlsson will require surgery and might miss the remainder of the Senators’ season.

Matt Cooke painted the incident as an accident, but Senators GM Bryan Murray didn’t seem convinced.

“It’s Matt Cooke. What else should I say?” Murray said. “Watch the replay.”

You can watch the replay below:

Forward Jason Spezza is also sidelined indefinitely and might be done for the season. Spezza and Karlsson were Ottawa’s top two scorers in 2011-12.


Cooke on Karlsson hit: ‘I didn’t even know what happened’

Ottawa GM Murray: ‘It’s Matt Cooke. What else should I say?’

Senators’ Karlsson needs surgery, out indefinitely

  1. valoisvipers - Feb 14, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Good non call by the League.Cooke has reformed and is now a decent hockey player.Too bad about Karlsson but it was just bad luck on a freak play.

  2. dkphilly1122 - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Exactly Valo. Totally agree a good no call and pure accident. Best of Luck to Karlsson.

  3. steelpenbucs87 - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Hope Karlsson get’s back stronger than ever – Malkin did it and so can Erik.Glad to see the league isn’t pursuing anything here and sees it for what it is – an accident.

    At the same time I don’t blame the Sens, their fans, or Murray for being upset and having knee-jerk reactions to the injury given Cookie’s history. I even get Chris Neil going after him unabashedly – that’s hockey, if you hurt one of our star players you pay for it. I would want Tanner Glass to do the exact same thing if that happened to Sid or whomever. Hopefully though they can see it more clearly after some of the emotions subsided.

    Either way, Cooke might want to get some of that MMA training that’s en vogue these days before the third tilt between these two teams in a couple months… he’ll be marked.

    • tsi431 - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      Copy/Pasted to save time writing the same thing.

      bmscalise – Feb 14, 2013 at 12:37 AM

      Actually – a similar situation happened when PK Subban sliced up Jordan Staal. And no – neither the Pens brass nor their players behaved as immaturely as the Sens did. No one ever suggested it was anything other than bad luck – despite Subban’s terrible reputation. Nor did anyone in the organization claim Tyler Meyers took out Geno’s knee intentionally. Nor did those in charge (not fans) – claim Stekel intentionally threw a shoulder into Sid’s head. Why? Because they were accidents.

  4. jpelle82 - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    there’s no way it was intentional, glad cooke isnt being punished but man i feel bad for karlsson…the look on his face was just agonizing when i saw it live last night, he knew right away, thats gotta be a terrible feeling.

  5. mclovinhockey - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Well hope he is okay soon. I invested so highly in karlson for my fantasy team but that is one injury you don’t want to rush back from. Take your time, get healthy.

    Good non call by the league.

  6. dkuether017 - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Good no call by the NHL, what should have been called was Neil later sucker punching Cooke while he’s laying on the ice. I understand there are consiquences for taking out a play but atleast drop them and fight legit not sucker punch him against the boards.

  7. homelanddefense - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Yeah, they didnt see any intent when he scrabbled Marc Savards brain either.

    Not that I think this was intentional. Its debatable, not that Cooke really deserves benefit of the doubt though. But if they couldnt find intent in the hit on Savard then there was no way they could do it here. Way too cloudy…if it wasnt Cooke no one would think its intentional.

    • miketoasty - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      What are you talking about? They knew what Cooke did to Savard was wrong but back then there was no rule that forbid hit’s to the end and you can’t punish someone just because they injured someone else. I don’t know if you remember or not but a couple times that same season Cooke injured Savard there were two other plays that happened exactly the same way, and neither of those players were suspended as well.

      I’m not trying to condone hits to the head or any type of injury but you can’t just suspend someone because of an accident that injured someone else.

      • miketoasty - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        Hit’s to the head*

      • homelanddefense - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        actually there were rules against elbowing, which in my opinion is what Cooke tried to do to Savard. He sticks his wing out in the videos.

        And where did I say you can suspend someone because of an accident? First, there was NO ACCIDENT in the Savard hit, and second I never even said that. All I mentioned is he shouldnt get the benefit of the doubt (in the court of public opinion) because he is a repeat offender.

      • badintent - Feb 14, 2013 at 6:37 PM

        Cooke was a POS in Vancouver and was lucky to have Shaq ‘s personal Rehab guy in town to help him recover from a torn groin. Time to retear his groin again.He’s another Rob Moore, call Todd Burtuzzi to get him out of the game for good.

    • nosefacekillah - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      Exactly! This clown was not suspended with his wicked elbow to Savard that ended his career. The league did not want to upset Mario so the let it go. Imagine if Rinaldo had hit Crosby like this, lifting his leg and stomping on his ankle. Mario would be foaming at the mouth.

  8. kodyknight2821 - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    I was expecting to read these comments and see a bunch of people talk about how Cooke did this on purpose and he’s such a dirty player.. But I’m glad people are noticing his change. Mario had a long talk with him about his game and told him he needed to change. It was either he was going to change his game or he was out of Pittsburgh. Since then Cooke has changed his game and became a better player. A good no call by the league, because he did not do this on purpose. Best of luck to Erik. .

  9. sjtorpitt - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    @Kody, I was expecting the same thing.

  10. bruinpred - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    The fact that Cooke has “reformed” and this was an accident doesn’t change the fact that he shouldn’t be in the league. He ruined Savard’s career and negatively impacted his quality of life. If that happened off the ice, Cooke would be in jail.

    • hockinj25 - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      Most of the things that happen during the course of a hockey game would be illegal and lead to jail.

      • drunk4thliners - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:42 AM

        I definitely agree. If two guys “dropped the gloves” in a bar, the cops would have them tagged and bagged on assault and battery.

    • mwalluk - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      Kind of hard, to skate and hit someone OFF the ice. Man, your post ranks as the dumbest post of the year. Congrats on being an idiot.

    • miketoasty - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      Martin Hanzal ruined Chris Prongers career yet no one is saying he should be banned from the league. I love how we pick players to hate, but let others get by.

  11. sjsharks66 - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Is this real life? Everyone agreeing cooke did this on accident? Good to see everyone get along for once. Good decision by the league also.

    Hope erik has a fast recovery!

  12. ironcity6pak - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Good call.

  13. raiderufan - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    You know I hate to see that happen to one of the great young players but intent would have been impossible to prove. It certainly looked like 80-100 other plays of the exact same action I saw just last night.

    I’m also really interested to see what the recovery/rehab time will be for Karlsson…has something of this nature happened before? That skate went thru like butter and cut it in a spot, presumably fairly cleanly, that it generally doesn’t tear from. I should say that’s from what I understand and I know nothing but it seems different than most achilles tears.

    • lionstigersandwingsohmy - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      My guess (and that’s all it is) is that he will be back playing sometime next season but will not be back to full speed until sometime in the 2014-2015 season.

  14. pats2001 - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    when is the last time you ever saw a player skate into a corner or side boards to finish off a check and lift up his foot like cooke did? unless he was about to lose his balance and his left foot came down…i suppose thats possible. but like some of the other commenters, i don’t think cooke should be given the benefit of the doubt for anything. if the league doesnt think there should be a suspension, i’m okay with it. cooke is the only one that will ever know if it was intentional

    • sportsfreak13 - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      Watch the TSN crew breakdown the play. They show 2 or 3 examples of similar plays in other games where the players leg comes up (like cookes) in order to pin the player against the boards. Aaron ward (ex nhl player himself) does a great job of explaining it.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      Link for the aforementioned TSN crew breakdown

      • pats2001 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        i just re-watched again about ten times and having done so i can agree that it wasnt pre meditated before he went into the corner because there wasnt enough time for him to think to himself “okay i’m gonna step on the back of this guys leg”. but i am glad that this at least got some attention because cooke essentially ended marc savard’s career. cooke is lucky he’s even in the league right now

      • sportsfreak13 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        “Cooks should be lucky hes even in the league right now”. Same can be said about bertuzzi.

  15. isithockeyseasonyet - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Poor kid, hate to see that, Cooke was once a really dirty player but I think it’s good the league is taking the high road here because I really don’t think he’s that kind of player anymore, I hate him regardless because he’s on the penguins but I respect the player he has become

  16. bruinpred - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    MWALLUK – Way to hide behind e-mail – Kind of a Cooke move. Have another burger.

  17. phillyphanatic77 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Obviously the consensus is that there wasn’t intent on Cooke’s part, and I’d hafta agree. It’s a backbreaking loss and I, like the article says, can understand the initial outrage from Sens fans, but there’s nothing definitive in the video to support Murray’s outrage. If this had happened 2-3 years ago then maybe there would be more of a discussion surrounding Cooke’s intent. Unfortunately this play could’ve been avoided if the refs had blown it dead when the puck hit the mesh. It was an innocent mistake and they’re human but it’s another example of the striped shirts impacting the outcome of a game this season.

  18. skinsovieterps - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    It’s Pittsburgh, Shanaclown would dare never suspend a Penguin, Guarantee if another player did that to Cindy, it would have been an automatic suspension.

  19. kotteintheslot - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Coming from someone who hates the Penguins and Matt Cooke, good call not suspending him

  20. csilojohnson - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Good, no way that was intentional.

  21. rwbart1 - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Chara hit on Max was an “accident” too. Once a rat ALWAYS a rat!

  22. sjm1717 - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Bruinpred…congratulations you have made the dumbest comment of the day

  23. ewoods6 - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Ask yourself this question: If this hit was put on by any one else besides Cooke, would it be getting all this attention as a dirty play??

    I think the smart ones of the group would say no.That alone should prove that the play and intent was fair and legal. I understand that the history of certain players comes into play, i get it, but the PLAY was not dirty so regardless of the player……it was clean, just unfortunate.

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