Erik Karlsson on Matt Cooke: 'He knows exactly what he's doing out there'

Justin K. Aller

Erik Karlsson says that Matt Cooke didn't intentionally hurt him, but that it wasn't accidental either.

Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson met with the assembled media in Ottawa on Friday morning to make his first public comments since suffering a lacerated Achilles tendon last Wednesday night.

According to various media reports on Twitter, Karlsson stated that his surgery was successful and he is resting at home watching golf. He also said that teammates Daniel Alfredsson and Peter Regin visited him at his home on the day of the procedure. In addition, Karlsson expressed that when he comes back he is determined to return to full health.

The injury update is good news, but Karlsson's quotes regarding Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke, the player who injured him, could be a lightning rod. Karlsson said he doesn't think that Cooke wanted to lacerate his Achilles, but he does believe that it wasn't accidental. Silver Seven tried to explain what they believe is the difference:

So basically, if I'm understanding him correctly, Karlsson is suggesting that even though Cooke wasn't intending to maliciously use his skate blade to slice Karlsson's Achilles' tendon, he was recklessly trying to knock Karlsson down and/or out. That's a suggestion others have made, as well.

Cooke stated shortly after the incident that he had reached out to Karlsson via text message. Karlsson confirmed that he received the message but did not respond and doesn't plan to do so. Karlsson said that had the situation happened with another player, he wouldn't have had his Achilles lacerated.

The Senators franchise, from owner Eugene Melnyk all the way down to the players, have seemingly taken the position that Cooke was intentionally trying to injure Karlsson during the play. Melnyk even went as far to say that Cooke should be kicked out of the league. On Friday, Karlsson stated that he supported Melnyk's viewpoint.

Of course, the context of all these comments has come courtesy of media reports on Twitter. The Senators are planning to stream the video on their website. Once it is made available, we will be able to see the context of Karlsson's statements and will update accordingly.

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