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Melnyk says Matt Cooke should be "kicked" from NHL


hf101
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Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is understandably upset about the loss of Erik Karlsson, who will miss the remainder of the season after having his Achilles lacerated on Wednesday night. The skate belonged to Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins, which came down hard on the back of Karlsson's ankle as the two fought hard into the boards, and despite the NHL stating no punishment for the incident is necessary there are many who feel the controversial player is far from innocent -- Melnyk included.

The Senators owner has long been outspoken against the perceived "goons" in the NHL and the danger they potentially pose to star players around the league.

On Thursday, Melnyk expressed his frustration with the situation by stating that he thinks Cooke shouldn't be allowed to play in the NHL, via Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:

"This guy should be kicked ... He doesn't belong in the league. He belongs somewhere where the goons play," said an emotional Melnyk. "Get him in the Central league. He can be a $60,000-a-year guy playing pick-up hockey there.

"The guy does not deserve ... He's got one purpose. I remember when this happened with Spezza. I said, 'If these are the rules, I just want to know.' We'll play with the same rules. Make sure you have one or two goons whose job is to do this either intentionally or unintentionally.

The incident Melnyk is discussing with Jason Spezza, involves a hit from Penguins defenseman Kris Letang during the 2010 season.

Karlsson underwent successful surgery on Thursday and is expected to miss approximately six months.

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Nobody hates the coward Cooke more than me, but Melnykis is just blowing off anger IMO. Cooke isn't a goon, he's too much of a candy a** for that. Not too long ago Cooke probably ended Savard's career so he's not going to get many supporters other than Pittsburgh

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So Cooke is the bad guy for a perfectly legal and clean hit that thanks to bad fortune ended up hurting a guy? Hypocritical Flyers fans on this one... You defend douchebag RInaldo when he's innocent but not Cooke? And Melnyk can bite my ass on this one. He has his goon (Neil) and yet runs his mouth about everybody else. When Cooke earns the criticism I'll give it to him. Until it's earned though anyone speaking against him for this play is just being an ass.

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@hf101

While his comments were way way WAY over the top, I can't kill the guy. He just lost his best player for the year (along with any real chance to contend) on a play that, while 1,000% accidental, still involved a guy whose reputation (rightfully) precedes him. Add to that, he's been a consistent supporter of stiff penalties (even lifetime bans) for repeat offenders which Cooke clearly is.

Sure - he's being hypocritical. He employs Chris Neill after all. But when most owners speak out about a situation like this they are all being hypocritical to some extent as they have all employed at some point players who were not exactly choir boys (see Mario/Crosby/Steckel).

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I agree with almost everything you wrote B - all except the "1000% accidental" bit. I mean doesn't somebody have to ask WTF is Cooke's skate doing up there behind Karlsson's knee in the first place? I've watched the hit a hundred times I can't for the life of me figure out what the hell he (Cooke) was trying to do. It was like he was "stepping" on Karlsson's calf, or trying to step over it...?

I don't believe Cooke was trying to hurt Karlsson - I can't let myself believe that even about Matt Cooke. But WTF is his skate doing 3 feet off the ice?

Again I'm not saying he was intentionally trying to hurt Karlsson. I'm only saying the whole sequence by Cooke looks idiotic. It's hard to call it "1000% accidental" when you do something so patently stupid.

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I agree with almost everything you wrote B - all except the "1000% accidental" bit. I mean doesn't somebody have to ask WTF is Cooke's skate doing up there behind Karlsson's knee in the first place? I've watched the hit a hundred times I can't for the life of me figure out what the hell he (Cooke) was trying to do. It was like he was "stepping" on Karlsson's calf, or trying to step over it...?

I don't believe Cooke was trying to hurt Karlsson - I can't let myself believe that even about Matt Cooke. But WTF is his skate doing 3 feet off the ice?

Again I'm not saying he was intentionally trying to hurt Karlsson. I'm only saying the whole sequence by Cooke looks idiotic. It's hard to call it "1000% accidental" when you do something so patently stupid.

If you watch the zoomed out version you see the stick battle that throws Cooke off balance just before they collide with the boards. That's what brings his skate up, and causes him to duck away from the sticks opposite that skate.

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I saw that battle but if anything it makes me wonder even more why he's got his left skate so high. They both have their sticks up, they're both off balance and yet Cooke decides he only needs one skate to stabilize himself as they crash into the boards.

Wait.... maybe Cooke didn't "decide" at all - maybe in the stick fight Cooke kinda got corkscrewed off balance - it does look like that could be the reason.

Well thanks for making me look at it again. I guess it was the stick battle.

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I agree with almost everything you wrote B - all except the "1000% accidental" bit. I mean doesn't somebody have to ask WTF is Cooke's skate doing up there behind Karlsson's knee in the first place? I've watched the hit a hundred times I can't for the life of me figure out what the hell he (Cooke) was trying to do. It was like he was "stepping" on Karlsson's calf, or trying to step over it...?

I don't believe Cooke was trying to hurt Karlsson - I can't let myself believe that even about Matt Cooke. But WTF is his skate doing 3 feet off the ice?

Again I'm not saying he was intentionally trying to hurt Karlsson. I'm only saying the whole sequence by Cooke looks idiotic. It's hard to call it "1000% accidental" when you do something so patently stupid.

Aaron Ward did a pretty good analysis on TSN of "why" his skate was off the ice and he used two similar plays from the first 2:00 of the Stars/Flames game that same night. I posted the link in the thread in the Pens forum but can add it here, too.

http://video.tsn.ca/videohub.aspx?dl=nhl-latest/latest/1/0/864713/clip/70

3' off the ice is a bit exaggerated. His skate was (unfortunately) never really higher than the back of Karlsson's skate.

As Ward said, it's a common hockey play made in an effort to contain the opponent along the boards.

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More great quotes from Melnyk

"To have (Karlsson) taken out by a goon is unconscionable. Whether it was accidental, or whether it was reckless, or whether it was intentional, to me it doesn't matter. It's something that never should have happened. (Cooke) should never be playing in this league. It's a league for elite players."

"I don't buy any of that garbage," Melnyk told TSN. "Five times? No, we're No. 6? How about seven and eight? At what point do you say, 'You know what? Maybe he's not changed.' You do this enough times, don't try to convince me or anybody else. People are way too intelligent. The guy gets suspended five times. That's how many times he's been suspended, never mind how many times he's not been suspended.

"I'm just shocked that that organization employs that type of individual."

"The league has its own way of working," Melnyk told TSN. "They have their job, we have our job. At the end of the day, they are responsible for this. This is a reflection on the NHL. But saying that, if they're right, they're right. We have a different view at this point.

"Over the coming weeks, we'll get to the bottom of it. ... You can't see it on camera, that's why you can't blame the league for this or anyone else. On camera you look at it, but when you look at it logically, you've got a blade that has to cut through socks, has to then cut through skin, fat, muscle, everything that protects the tendon, then cuts 70 percent of the tendon."

Murray added that Karlsson felt he "got directed and got cut with a skate that shouldn't be where it was."

"You will forget about guys like him (Cooke) in a year or two because they won't be playing in the league," Melnyk told TSN. "He's done it to us; he's done it to others. If he thinks it's cool to be the tough goon, then that's his business, but people aren't going to put up with him. We're certainly not going to put up with him. ... He's on a watch list now. Everybody should know it.

"You certainly don't belong in this league, and the faster you're gone, the better."

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