Matt Cooke should be "kicked" from NHL, says Sens owner

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is not happy about the injury sustained by star defenseman Erik Karlsson and believes Matt Cooke shouldn't be allowed to play in the NHL.

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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