In the aftermath of his brutal elbow to the chin of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke will meet in-person with the NHL's supplementary discipline chiefs on Monday, an indication that he could receive a lengthy suspension. In-person meetings usually mean a suspension of more than five games is coming.
Here's video of the offending hit:
There's no two ways about it: it's nasty, brutal, disgusting, blatant, horrible. This is exactly the type of thing that we all want to see out of hockey and this is exactly the type of thing that Cooke has become known for during his NHL career.
Most importantly, perhaps, this is exactly the type of that Pens owner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux railed against just a little over a month ago when his team was involved in a melee with the New York Islanders. Lemieux said, in part:
"The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed.
"We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players. We must make it clear that those kinds of actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action."
Lemieux was angry with the NHL over the discipline handed out to the Islanders in the wake of the incident, but should Cooke get off easily today (and by easily, we mean anything less than 10 games for a repeat offender), couldn't the exact same quote come from somebody in the Rangers organization?
Cooke has been suspended countless times for similar incidents throughout his career, and apparently, none of that discipline has led to a change in his thinking. It'll be interesting to see if the NHL uses this as an opportunity to make an example of the guy who's quickly become Public Enemy No. 1.