NHL

OTR: Roenick calls Cooke's hit on Tyutin 'disrespectful'

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TSN.ca Staff
2/9/2011 11:20:44 PM
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Matt Cooke's name was in the news last week for what appeared to be a knee-on-knee hit on Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin.

On Monday, his name was brought up again when Bruins centre Marc Savard was shut down for the season due to a concussion because he delivered the blindside hit that gave Savard his initial concussion last season.

Then on Wednesday, the Penguins' agitator made headlines for a third time after being handed a four-game suspension for his hit from behind on Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Fedor Tyutin.

Former NHLer Jeremy Roenick, who is never at a loss for words when it comes to issues in the game, didn't mince words about Cooke during his appearance on TSN's Off The Record on Wednesday.

"I think he should have gotten 10 (games). This is Matt Cooke; he's gone down this road before and he's been known to do things like this," said Roenick. "(Tyutin) had his back to him the whole time and not once did Matt Cooke not see his numbers or his name and he still hit him. To me, that's a cheapshot and it's disrespectful. This has happened before and if you're not going to start cutting down on it, the disrespect is going to continue."

No stranger to controversy, Cooke escaped a suspension last season for what many thought was a high and blindside side hit to the head of Savard. The knee-on-knee collision with Ovechkin late last week also went unpunished.

"It was Matt Cooke. Need we say more? It's not like it's his first rodeo," Captials head coach Bruce Boudreau said last week.

Cooke, who will forfeit almost $88,000 in salary for his hit on Tyutin, was also suspended two games in 2009 for his hit to the head on New York Rangers' Artem Anisimov.

"Somebody is going to get paralyzed in the league and then where are the suspensions and the fines going to come from," Roenick asked the OTR panel. "I got suspended two games and fined $90,000 for throwing a water bottle that hit the ice and Matt Cooke takes somebody's life into consideration and hits him from behind.

"The league right now is making punishments in determination of who gets hurt and the severity of the injury," Roenick continued. "Is a 20-game punishment going to be worse than somebody getting paralyzed for guys to wake up and recognize that this is a dangerous game? And then you do absolute mindless crap like (Cooke did) and it totally makes a bad name for the sport."

On Wednesday, NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell also handed New Jersey Devils defenceman Anton Volchenkov a three-game suspension for elbowing Hurricanes' Zach Boychuk in the head Tuesday night.

"Another bush-league play," said Roenick. "Again, another disrespectful act of trying to hurt someone. His elbow blatantly came out and caught him in the head and knocked him down. You have to punish somebody hard enough to where it's going to wake everybody up."

Jeremy Roenick (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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