objectionable play. This afternoon versus the New York Rangers, Cooke delivered an elbow to the head of New York Rangers' player Ryan McDonagh.
Matt Cooke has been in the news multiple times over the past couple of years for 'questionable' hits. Speculation from the media at this point is that the NHL will want to deliver a message after its recent General Manager meetings and five-point plan to combat headshots in the game. Video of this most recent incident can be seen below:
Given the sensitivity to the issue (recently demonstrated in the 5 minute major penalty to the Vancouver Canuck's Alex Burrows against Phoenix earlier this week, Cooke could be looking at a lengthy suspension. At this point, five games is probably what will happen. Anything more than that would be a welcome sign to many who have long wanted to see Cooke punished for his style of play. He somehow manages to escape supplemental discipline more often than not, despite his track record on the ice.
"I didn't see him coming. I know it hurt, that's for sure," McDonagh said. "I would hope it wasn't his intent. It's a tight game. I'm sure he's not trying to get his team a five-minute penalty. He'd probably just trying to finish his check and just caught me wrong."
Cooke wasn't available to reporters after the game. Tortorella sidestepped the question of what discipline the NHL should give Cooke, saying, "That's not for me to decide. You're not getting me involved in that stuff."
Led by co-owner Mario Lemieux and general manager Ray Shero, the Penguins have been vocal about penalizing head shots with more fervor.
Cooke will likely be suspended for his latest infraction.
"I don't think you can talk about eliminating head shots from the game, as we have as an organization, and not expect [Cooke's hit] to be examined," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. "It's what looks to be a contact right to the head on the play, so the league will look at that and treat it as such."