The NHL must take action on Cooke; it's not Mario's job
There might be a lot of people out there who are quite upset from Matt Cooke’s most recent hit. They have every right to be since this is Matt’s third or fourth suspension in a Penguins Jersey. In a game against the New York Rangers, Cooke threw up an elbow into the face of young defensemen Ryan McDonagh. While the hit will garner a suspension, it should be anywhere from 5-10 games, but Cooke might be in more trouble after that hit.
Many people have jumped on top of Pens co-owner Mario Lemieux for not speaking up right after the event. It is called being a hypocrite, some would say, and when someone calls you a hypocrite it typically means that they themselves are also hypocrites. In the most recent game against the Rangers, Head Coach John Tortorella was visibly upset after the game, but held his own in the locker room by saying that it was not his place to say. For that I give credit to Coach Torts, he has typically been a guy to tear apart the penguins for their physical play. The man did not say anything stupid and did not put himself in a media nightmare, so thank you John. Someone should also tell Bruce down in Washington how this is done, because that man doesn’t know how to keep quiet.
As for those who have blatantly called Mario a “hypocrite” for talking head shots while employing a man like Matt Cooke, it is time you sit back and shut up. For one, Mario Lemieux employs a player, but it isn’t Mario who is out there hitting these people. If Matt Cooke were to come out and say what Mario had, he would be a hypocrite, but Mario did not. Speaking firstly on the Islander situation, Mario criticized the NHL Management for being weak and irresponsible. If I am correct everyone else in the entire league has been screaming this for about two or three years. So now Mario is the king of all hypocrites for saying what everyone else has? Who is to say? Ranger fans have Sean Avery in their roster so I’m guessing they cannot talk about this for they too will be hypocrites, according to some’s logic.
The reasoning is simple; Mario Lemieux does not have to do anything to justify his comments. The fact that Mario has stepped up into a vocal role for the league means a lot for what is going to happen. Guys like Shanahan and Yzerman have stepped up to say that Mario was right and there needs to be another committee that regulates suspension worthy hits and the punishments that follow. He is a guy that is trying to change the way the game is played and the way the NHL operates. Mario has become the liaison for owners to the NHL management and to put it nicely, there are few owners that actually care this much about the game. So for those who are screaming for the penguins to suspend Matt Cooke indefinitely for his actions, which would be hypocritical in it’s own right, it’s time to listen up.
The entire case that Mario was trying to make was the NHL’s lack of consistency on rulings and their incompetence of legislation on those rulings. Mario wants the NHL to become stricter on their rulings and take more responsibility for the player’s safety in this game. To bypass the NHL Management and suspend Cooke himself without a ruling would not just show how little faith there is in the NHL management, but it would go against his own beliefs that the NHL management needs to become stricter. The only time Mario and the Penguins management should step up and suspend Matt Cooke is if the NHL fails to do so. To bypass the management would be against Mario and the GM’s goal of creating a stronger and more competent management. This suspension is a job of the NHL and the head hits committee, Mario shouldn't have to do a thing, if they actually listened to what he had to say.