CSI Ottawa: Senators’ owner using ‘forensic doctors’ to prove intent in Karlsson skate cut

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Harrison Mooney
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The Ottawa Senators have done pretty well for themselves since losing superstar Erik Karlsson to a season-ending skate cut, courtesy of Matt Cooke, back in February. Contrary to the expectations of many that expected them to drop right out of the playoff race, the Senators have ridden a wave of incredible goaltending, team defending, and heart and stayed right in the thick of things. At the time of this writing, they're fifth in the Eastern Conference and, hey, there's even talk that they might get Karlsson back before the year is up.

But that doesn't mean they've forgiven Matt Cooke, the moustache-twirling villain who some in Ottawa still believe perpetrated this dastardly deed intentionally. Two days after the incident, Senators' owner Eugene Melnyk was ranting about Cooke's intent, claiming Cooke should be kicked out of the league and that his sole purpose is to hurt people.

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Now, that was ridiculous, especially considering Cooke's recent reformation. But incredibly, Melnyk's crusade against Cooke has since escalated to, well, what's beyond ridiculous?

How about CSI?

On Wednesday, Melnyk told John Shannon and Bob McCown of Primetime Sports that he remained convinced that Cooke hurt Karlsson on purpose, and he was in the midst of a forensic study to prove it.


The conversation -- which can be listened to here, with the crazy stuff starting around 5:35 -- began with Melnyk and the two hosts discussing goons taking out star players, which led Melnyk to use Cooke on Karlsson as an example. When Shannon asked if Melnyk still believed that was an intentional injury, Melnyk began to boast.

"I'm going to prove whether it was intentional or not," he said.

"How do you do that?" He was asked.

"You watch. It may be public. It may not public, but it's between me and the league. I think it was intentional. But you have to be able to prove it. And from all the television angles that we saw you can't see it, it was so fast. But the force that that skate had to go through a sock, a sub-sock, then your skin, muscle, sheath, and then to get to your tendon? Man. Either this guy's really good or very lucky at being able to do that."

Melnyk added that he would be bringing evidence to Brendan Shanahan and Gary Bettman, and when McCown suggested that he was welcome to bring it to Primetime Sports if Bettman and Shanahan didn't listen, Melnyk responded to that with the strangest part of all.

"Look, they're very fair when it comes to that. They'll listen to you, but you haver to come back with professional evidence by doctors, forensic doctors that can do it. You know, It's actually being done right in Toronto."

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That's right. Forensic doctors. Like Crime Scene Investigation. Looks like Matt's goose is about to get... Cooked.

Melnyk's obsession with this is amazing. Looks like this is one wound that just won't... heel.

But you have to admire his persistence. He really is determined to ensuring that Cooke doesn't... skate.

Okay, that was the last one.

I'm seriously hoping that Melnyk's forensic doctors boast was simply borne out of a chance encounter with Emily Procter outside a Starbucks on Yonge Street. Maybe he confused her for a real forensic analyst, asked for her help, and she said no so politely he thought it was a yes?

What's most incredible to me is that Melnyk's explanation of why it must be intentional is pretty much a perfect explanation for why it couldn't possibly be intentional. Yes, it's extremely unlikely to get so lucky that you cut through all layers necessary to put Karlsson out for the season. And yet it happened. Sounds like a freak accident to me.

Anyway. Melnyk's nuts if he thinks forensics will prove intent. That never happens on CSI. The culprits explain intent at the end of the episode when the forensic evidence puts them at the scene. And really, that's their biggest error. All they'd have to do is keep denying it and the flimsy evidence against them probably wouldn't hold up in court.

If Melnyk really wants to get his man, he's taking his cues from the wrong show. He needs to set up an elaborate scheme that causes Cooke to expose himself, like they do on The Mentalist.
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