Thursday, March 11, 2010
The NHL showed once again that it lacks testicular fortitude, as it allowed Matt Cooke's hit on Marc Savard to go unpunished.
Quick question: how many Matt Cooke shirts do the Penguins sell? Because I'm perusing the Pittsburgh Penguins' Pro Shop. I see lots of Crosby and Malkin shirts and jerseys. A few Fleury items. Bill Guerin, Paul Coffey, Chris Kunitz, and an old-time Ron Francis shirt.
No Matt Cooke gear.
I even searched eBay for Matt Cooke paraphernalia. All I found were token autographs and $1 trading cards.
Yet he's allowed to injure the Bruins' best player, a guy the B's signed to a long-term deal, and nothing happens.
The NHL is all talk when it comes to preventing head injuries. And it's not only morally objectionable, it's bad business. Do you think parents want their kids playing a game where hits like this are condoned? Do you think parents want their kids even WATCHING this game?
And what about the message sent by this inaction to all the goons out there? They've been given a license to kill. Instead of being pro-active, even tokenly so, the NHL has essentially announced that dirty hits, so long as they're disguised within the letter of the law, are hunky dory.
What if someone did this to Alex Ovechkin, or (heaven forbid) The Golden Canadian: Sidney Crosby. Would the NHL be so tolerant? Maybe it's time to find out.
And I'm not letting the Bruins off the hook here. They did NOTHING to police this situation themselves. And I hope that on March 18th, when the Penguins come to Boston, that Thornton, Lucic, Chara, and anyone on the ice with Cooke, forgets about hockey for a shift and focuses on shortening Matt Cooke's career, if not his life.
Or you know what, instead of trying to punish Cooke with physical torment, maybe a more fitting deterrent would be to go after Crosby. Most goons are tough/arrogant enough that they don't fear physical retaliation anyway. But if goons are put in a position where their behavior risks the health of their team's best players, they might clean up their act.