Matt Cooke Suspension Highlights One of the NHL's Many Problems as a Business

Mar 22, 2011, 07:19 by David Hope

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke has become the poster-boy for the NHL. The league, criticized for its waffling views on player safety and protection, handed down an incredible penalty against Cooke on Monday. The severity of Cooke's actions speaks to the significant problems that plague the NHL in today's era of successful sport leagues.

Cooke will miss the final 10 games of the regular season as a result of his blindside elbow to the head of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonough in the third period of Sunday's 5-2 Penguins loss.

Depending on how far the Penguins go in the first round of the playoffs, the total suspension time could be as much as 17 games.

Cooke was also suspended for four games in February for hitting Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin from behind.

"Mr. Cooke, a repeat offender, directly and unnecessarily targeted the head of an opponent who was in an unsuspecting and vulnerable position," NHL Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said. "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."

Source: UPI