The complaints about Penguins left winger Matt Cooke rose another rung up the Ottawa Senators' ladder, as well as to another decibel level.
In an interview with the Ottawa Sun, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk bitterly complained about Cooke's collision Wednesday with Erik Karlsson, the Senators' star defenseman. Cooke's skate lacerated Karlsson's Achilles tendon, likely ending his season.
The NHL decided the collision was accidental and issued no punishment, but Melnyk felt differently.
“This guy should be kicked ... he doesn't belong in the league,” Melnyk said of Cooke. “He belongs somewhere where the goons play. Get him in the Central League. He can be a $60,000-a-year guy playing pickup hockey there.”
Melnyk similarly called for Penguins defenseman Kris Letang to be banned after a 2010 check injured the shoulder of Ottawa center Jason Spezza.
“He's got one purpose,” Melnyk continued about Cooke. “I remember when this happened with Spezza. I said, ‘If these are the rules, I just want to know.' We'll play with the same rules. Make sure you have one or two goons whose job is to do this either intentionally or unintentionally. I'm OK with it. Just tell me. I play by the rules. I'm just shocked an organization would do this.”
Melnyk also said, “I'm very upset. Actually, I'm more than upset. I'm outraged that, in this day and age, this continues. Whether it's accidental or not, that's not our job to judge. That's why the NHL is there to assess it.”
Ottawa owner slams Pens’ Cooke
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | Feb 16