Ottawa, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Ottawa team owner Eugene Melnyk has called Pittsburgh Penguins’ Matt Cooke a “goon” after he cut Senators defenseman Erick Karlsson’s Achilles tendon using his skate blade.
“To have him taken out by a goon is unconscionable,” Melnyk told TSN. “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. This player should never be playing in this league. It’s a league for elite players,” he added.
Melnyk added that Cooke doesn’t belong in the NHL, saying the faster that he will be gone, the better the league would become.
“You will forget about guys like him (Cooke) in a year or two because they won’t be playing in the league,” Melnyk said. “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”.
Melnyk also criticized the NHL’s decision not to discipline Cooke for what he did to Karlsson, whose season ended due to the injury.
“The league has its own way of working,” Melnyk said. “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”.
Cooke has been suspended five times in his career but has not been disciplined since March 2011, when he was suspended 10 games for a hit to the head of the New York Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh.
Earlier, Cooke declared that he has change the way he plays, but Melnyk was not convinced, saying he doesn’t buy any of that garbage.
Senators GM Bryan Murray said that Karlsson is expected to have a full recovery after surgery repaired the “clean cut”.
“Karlsson felt he got directed and got cut with a skate that shouldn’t be where it was,” Murray said.