February 09, 2011
He also sparked a dialogue around the hockey world about his body of work, what he "deserved" from the NHL is a suspension, whether the suspension is symbolic of the NHL "waking up" to the perils of his reckless play ... and whether NHL players should take matters into their own hands when it comes to Cooke.
On Wednesday's edition of Puck Daddy Radio on The Score Sirius 98 (stream here, available on iTunes), we spoke with MSG Network and VERSUS NHL Overtime analyst Ken Daneyko about Cooke and his suspension ... and the former New Jersey Devils defenseman and 20-year NHL vet didn't mince words:
"I played against Matt Cooke, and [Devils announcer] Doc Emrick has let it be known that we used to have epic battles. Even when I was older, he used to get under my skin so bad that I wanted to two-hand him over the head. And I probably should have, and taken the suspension back then. [Laughs]
"However, he is a valuable player. He does his job. He is an agitator. But right now, enough is enough. The guy can skate, hit ... he just doesn't get it, and I don't know if he knows any better.
"I watched that play over and over, hitting Tyutin from behind. Now, some people say that players have to protect themselves, and I don't know why they turn their bodies to the boards. But he was gliding. He had some time to react, to go in gingerly, and he doesn't. He just does not know any better, or he just won't change.
So what's the solution? Here's Daneyko's:
"I'm as crazy as this: The NHL [should declare] open season for one week on Matt Cooke. You won't get suspended. Then we'll see if he'll continue [his behavior] for the rest of the season or his career."
By the way, Daneyko said Matt Cooke and Ulf Samuelsson were two of the dirtiest players he played against during his career. Check out Deadspin's video tribute to Cooke if you haven't already.