Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke had an in-person hearing with NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell in Toronto today, stemming from his elbow to the head of New York Rangers defenceman Ryan McDonagh.
The incident occurred less than five minutes into the third period of Sunday's Rangers-Penguins game, when Cooke went high and landed an elbow on McDonagh's jaw. McDonagh had his back turned to the Penguins forward, and was in the process of shooting the puck into the offensive zone. Cooke was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
Detroit Red Wings centre Henrik Zetterberg believes the Penguins' agitator needs to sit out the remainder of the season, including the playoffs.
"I don't think he should play anymore this year," the Red Wings' captain told Yahoo! sports writer, Nick Cotsonika.
Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand, who just completed a two-game suspension for his elbow to the head of an opposing player, told ESPN that Cooke needs to be handed a stiff penalty.
"I think it's about time he gets [suspended]," Marchand said. "He needs to be taught a lesson. He's doing that stuff left, right and centre. I expect he'll get a bunch of games. He's got to be taught a lesson. He can't be running around doing that stuff all the time. He's going to seriously hurt someone again - look at Savvy. He could have easily hurt McDonagh."
Penguins owner Mario Lemieux was recently critical of the NHL for not enforcing enough discipline after a fight-filled game between Pittsburgh and the Islanders last month. In that game, 346 penalty minutes were assessed.
If disciplined, this would be Cooke's fifth suspension - and his fourth involving a hit to the head or a hit from behind.
His most recent suspension was last month, when he was given a four-game sentence for a hit from behind on Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Fedor Tyutin.
In November 2009, he was slapped with a two-game ban for a check to the head of Rangers' forward Artem Anisimov. A season before that in January, Cooke was served with another two-game suspension for a hit to the head of Scott Walker of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Cooke is perhaps best known for a hit that didn't garner any penalty or suspension. In March of last year, Cooke delivered an unsuspecting head shot to Bruins centre Marc Savard. Savard suffered a Grade 2 concussion on the hit and missed two months of the season.