Cooke suspended rest of regular season, first round of playoffs - 03-21-11

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins forward Matt Cooke has been suspended for the rest of the regular season as well as the first round of the playoffs for his hit to the head of Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh yesterday.

There are 10 games remaining in the Penguins' regular season. Cooke will forfeith $219,512.20 in salary.

This is Cooke's second suspension this season. He was suspended four games last month for a hit from behind on Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin.

In 67 games this season, Cooke has 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists), a plus-14 rating and 129 penalty minutes.

In a statment, NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said, "Mr. Cooke, a repeat offender, directly and unnecessarily targeted the head of an opponent who was in an unsuspecting and vulnerable position. This isn't the first time this season that we have had to address dangerous behavior on the ice by Mr. Cooke, and his conduct requires an appropriately harsh response."

UPDATE: Penguins general manager Ray Shero said the following in a statement released by the team:

The suspension is warranted because that’s exactly the kind of hit we’re trying to get out of the game. Head shots have no place in hockey. We’ve told Matt in no uncertain terms that this kind of action on the ice is unacceptable and cannot happen. Head shots must be dealt with severely, and the Pittsburgh Penguins support the NHL in sending this very strong message.”

EN Says: Finally the NHL gets it right and sends a message.

Cooke has received suspensions before, but never more than four games. Making him sit for 10 regular season games then upwards of seven postseason games should get his attention this time and hopefully force him to correct his game.

Hopefully the NHL finds some sort of consistency with regards to supplemental discpline in the future which is in line with what it gave Cooke. But don't hold your breath on that.

(Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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