Posted 1:43 PM ET | Comments 15
As I have discussed this with another HB blogger (Ice), we are on the same page in reference to Cooke.
As Ice noted in the larger sense what needs to end is the INTENT from the players. We can also throw in the lack of respect that the players have for each other as well. I originally mentioned INTENT because in all the hits the intent appears to be to injure the player not just take him off the puck. Now, no player is going to openly come out and say that's their INTENT but as we the fans watch, you can clearly see what they are trying to do.
Everyone is going to say that hit was clean and he used his shoulder. Other's will say, the equipment is to blame for all these injuries. Either way, you can still hit in the game of hockey w/o taking the guys head off.
These shots should've been addressed when Scott Stevens was laying down the law but no one saw the light of day. They only saw the highlight film hits. Stevens laid out some very good players and all the hits were deemed legal by the rule book but as we are seeing, but clearly the intent was to injure. He knocked out Francis and Lindros to name a few. The only thing that was said was to make sure you keep your head up when you are around him. So, all the responsibility is on the person being hit not on both players. Hit the player to take him off the puck not to ruin his career. It's ironic how after all these years Stevens career ended due to post concussion syndrom.
One of things that need to happen is the NHLPA needs to step up and create a board to monitor it's own players along with the league. Although you know that's not going to happen since the NHLPA is a mess right now.
Carter, Richards, Cooke to name a few players need(ed) to be suspended to make sure the point comes across about hitting to the head. Now, some people may say a person like Chara will always hit someone in the head because of his height. Although that maybe true, what is his intent and you can see most of the time he hits clean. He's taking the body.
It's the jumping, the elbow waving, the shoulder leads that needs to be addresses. Save the highlight hit for another day near the boards and skate away. The respect is not there like it used to be. Plus, some can say that its due to the instigator penalty. I don't disagree because there is no policing these days on the ice because you don't want that extra penality. I don't know about Cooke but if he had to fight his battles more often, he might tone down his crazy hits. The same could be said for Ovie who plays reckless because he knows (most of the time) the league will turn the other cheeck. The same could be said for Malkin. Richards at least fights when he's called upon. He fought McCabe, and then Booth.
I know I may be leaving a few other players out but really I think we all get the point. The league office needs to get away from the Old Boys Club or someone is going to get killed on the ice.
Cooke needs to be suspended to send a message to the rest of the league. I was openly impressed of Crosby's quote about the hit since it appeared as though he called out his own player. That's what a Captain does and it did it well.