We all laughed and laughed, and laughed some more, but Melnyk was serious. Super serious. He vowed to take his findings to the NHL and present them to commissioner Gary Bettman proving that Cooke was at fault and the collision was no accident.
Sources confirmed to the Ottawa Sun that Melnyk was accompanied by Ottawa GM Bryan Murray, who took a break from the club's scouting meetings in Florida to attend the presentation with Melnyk. Cooke has since left the Penguins and signed with the Minnesota Wild as a free agent.
Melnyk was spotted by media outside the office who were waiting for Vancouver coach John Tortorella to show up for his hearing with the league after Saturday's incident with the Flames.
The Senators owner has stayed quiet on the matter for fear of being slapped with a lofty fine from the league. Karlsson missed 31 games and returned in time for the playoffs. Cooke wasn't disciplined by the NHL.
With Monday being a busy day at NHL HQ, we imagine Bettman took the meeting with Melnyk as a way to humor one of his owners (and get a few chuckles in before the Tortorella hearing). Can't you just picture Melnyk making weekly calls to the comissioner with updates?
"Great breakthrough today, Gary! Look at his skate! Back and to the left! Back and to the left!"
This will end with Bettman privately thanking Melnyk for his efforts, but a decision is a decision, and then the next board of governors meeting will open with some sort of CSI zinger to lighten up the room.
UPDATE: Michael Russo of the Star Tribune spoke with Cooke today about all this. His response? “I think it’s really strange. It’s almost a full year ago that it happened..."
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- Ice Hockey
- Sports & Recreation
- Matt Cooke
- Gary Bettman
- Erik Karlsson