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Senators owner: "Cooke shouldn't be in the NHL"

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http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/8952904/ottawa-senators-owner-calls-matt-cooke-goon-nhl

A few days have passed since the Ottawa Senators lost defenseman Erik Karlsson for the season due to surgery on his Achilles tendon, which was cut by the skate blade of Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke.

But Senators owner Eugene Melnyk isn't any happier about losing the defending Norris Trophy winner, especially since it involved a player with a history of questionable play.

"To have him taken out by a goon is unconscionable," Melnyk told TSN on Friday. "Whether it was accidental, or whether it was reckless, or whether it was intentional, to me it doesn't matter.

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.
-- Senators owner Eugene Melnyk

"It's something that never should have happened. This player should never be playing in this league. It's a league for elite players."

Cooke has been suspended five times in his career but has not been disciplined since March 2011, when he was suspended 10 games, plus the first round of the playoffs, for a hit to the head of the New York Rangers'Ryan McDonagh.

Cooke since has said he has changed the way he plays the game, but Melnyk does not believe that.

"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 Penguins told ESPN.com on Thursday that they would not defend Cooke if they thought his was a dirty play.

"I feel horrible for Erik Karlsson; I feel bad for Ottawa," Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero said. "It's a bad feeling. But I can't rationalize where that was a dirty play or anything with intent. Our fan base knows how it feels to lose a star player. It's emotional. I know how it feels like. It's just very unfortunate. I would not be defending Matt Cooke if I thought it was a dirty hockey play."

LeBrun on Karlsson's injury

lebrun_pierre_m.jpg
Erik Karlsson's injury is horrible for the Senators and the game of hockey, but the league is right not to subject Matt Cooke to discipline, Pierre LeBrun writes.

Melnyk also disagreed with the NHL's decision not to discipline Cooke.

"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."

Senators GM Bryan Murray said Thursday that Karlsson is expected to have a full recovery after surgery repaired the "clean cut," but Karlsson's season is done.

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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Hard to say it was intentional.

Looked like an accident to me, I could understand the frustration from the owners but accidents happen.

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I can see how someone could argue either way. I don't think it was on purpose though.

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It doesn't matter if it's an accident or not, and Cooke knows it. He's been a dirty player throughout his career so the label is going to stick forever. Melnyk should be pissed, he just lost the Norris winner. NHL fans should be pissed because one of the best NHL players is injured. If it was Crosby, the NHL would have an earthquake. Cooke should be concerned, whether he is a changed man or not, he could very well be out of the NHL next year. Nobody should feel sorry for him, though, simply cause he ended too many careers. Marc Savard most notably.

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He is right to some extent. Cooke shouldn't be in the league...since he should have been thrown out a while ago for what he's done.

But can you really blame him for saying this? Ottawa's season is done now. Of course he's frustrated. And he's not going to get a huge fine for blaming Cooke as opposed to the refs for not blowing the play dead like they should have.

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Just a butthurt owner. It wasn't intentional and the league made the right decision. Cooke doesn't really cheap shot anymore and even when he did, it was with dangerous hits, not subtle things like a skate cut.

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Watching the game Cooke was crushed in the first by a pretty good hit , he got up and lost his sh... as he was skating by the Sens bench he was pointing at them and pretty much doin what Cooke does best. I really want to believe this is unintentional, but in my heart of hearts this was deliberate. The way he stepped down just seemed so placed...but we will never really know. I really hope Karlsson can bounce back like Selanne did after he severed his Achilles.

and yes Cooke ,Avery, Marchand, Tootoo , Bolland, Carcillo, Phanuef (lol seriously) scum like this does not deserve to be in the league.

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I personally think Cooke should've been banned from the NHL since the Savard incident.

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Watching the game Cooke was crushed in the first by a pretty good hit , he got up and lost his sh... as he was skating by the Sens bench he was pointing at them and pretty much doin what Cooke does best. I really want to believe this is unintentional, but in my heart of hearts this was deliberate. The way he stepped down just seemed so placed...but we will never really know. I really hope Karlsson can bounce back like Selanne did after he severed his Achilles.

and yes Cooke ,Avery, Marchand, Tootoo , Bolland, Carcillo, Phanuef (lol seriously) scum like this does not deserve to be in the league.

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I hate Cooke, I was so happy when we got rid of him, with him, accident or not, there is always going to be that doubt

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Even though he may not have targetted with severe intent to injure, he may have just lifted his leg and pressed it up against him in a casual mannor in which he may or not have cared if it cut him or not, even though he knew what he was doing. There is a microscope on head shots so he has to find another way to ruin peoples lives without it looking intentional. Hes a reckless POS and should have been tossed out years ago. Mario Lemieux continues to eat his words, are you full yet?

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He's a solid 30 point player in the NHL now, 19 goals last season, he deserves to be in this league.

Totally an accident from my view point, but really hope Karlsson is back as quick as possible and back to his regular form, would be super sad if hes never the same.

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and yes Cooke ,Avery, Marchand, Tootoo , Bolland, Carcillo, Phanuef (lol seriously) scum like this does not deserve to be in the league.

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He's a solid 30 point player in the NHL now, 19 goals last season, he deserves to be in this league.

Totally an accident from my view point, but really hope Karlsson is back as quick as possible and back to his regular form, would be super sad if hes never the same.

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If it was Crosby, the NHL would have an earthquake.

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I would argue that Bertuzzi was an isolated incident. That game got way out of hand, and Bert made a stupid mistake. He did not and does not make cheapshots part of his game. Not to mention he had quite a hefty suspension at the time. It cost the Canucks later on against Calgary.

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It doesn't matter if it's an accident or not, and Cooke knows it. He's been a dirty player throughout his career so the label is going to stick forever. Melnyk should be pissed, he just lost the Norris winner. NHL fans should be pissed because one of the best NHL players is injured. If it was Crosby, the NHL would have an earthquake. Cooke should be concerned, whether he is a changed man or not, he could very well be out of the NHL next year. Nobody should feel sorry for him, though, simply cause he ended too many careers. Marc Savard most notably.

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