So... don't condemn this article until one reads it fully through. First, there have been comments relinquished on MHH about Cooke and the hatred we have for him. And, if you ask me, the man deserves his due; however, I just read a great article on Bleacher Report, and I truly believe it is something to contemplate when discussing these events.
First, what is the point of spitting forth endless beat-downs about how much we hate Cooke? Sure, he took out our best offensive defensemen (perhaps our best d-man overall), and his absence won't impact the Wild in the same manner Barrie's will impact us. Sure, he intentionally stuck out his knee and kept the same trajectory in order to hit Barrie, but perhaps we should first analyze the man behind the career.
So, this BR article seems to try and displace the blame on the NHL's need for the "goon", in an attempt to further evaluate Cooke's conduct, which I think has some merit surely. But, the NHL does not dictate a man's actions on the ice; although, the system and coaches dictate his role surely. What I like about this article is that it discusses the reputation of Matt Cooke, and how he became the man he is now in today's game. His first 9 seasons in the NHL were a grand success in regards to suspension and gentlemanly conduct; furthermore, he played an important role similar to the one that Talbot plays for us. So, what causes a man of such importance on a team to swiftly change his gameplay? I have never seen any comments by Cooke on why he plays the way he does, but he was surely once a well-respected player in the league before he became a member of the Pens. Now, of course I am not blaming his current play-style on the Penguins' organization, but is there a certain stock one could place in the coaches having a role in the production of a dirty player?
I don't care what anyone says, Cooke does not want the reputation that he has earned through his indiscretions. So, here's what we're looking at. A player with multiple suspensions over the years, but nearly all of them coming since 2009, when he joined the Pens. As one reads the article, one sees that Cooke's transformation to one of the dirtiest players in the league happened rather quickly. What causes this transition in any player? Was it always there within the man he is? Sculpted from his insidious actions as the disgust with self continued to mount with his dirty plays, until the point where he just became this man. Or, was this feature of self molded from the role that was demanded of him? Either way, hockey fans are sick of it, and sick of this player in the league. I mean shit, Sobotka was lucky to return to that game after the knee on knee hit he took against Chicago.
I suppose what I'm trying to get to is that we are avid watchers of the Avs, and perhaps this pertains to all hockey as well (it does for me). And, we see the need for enforcers like Bordy or Cody Mc, but we all hate the player like Matt Cooke and wish his kind was not allowed in the game. All I am asking is that we evaluate these circumstances from a different point of view. I know that no hockey fan wants to give a break to the man that dismantled a player's career hopes, but is it not beneficial to further analyze where motivations for a player like this to exist come from? I hate Matt Cooke just the same as the rest of you, but this article is not written to incite riots, or the bashing of Matt Cooke and the Wild organization, but instead to look further into the issue and perhaps understand where the stem sprouts.