Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk ripped Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke on Friday calling him a “goon” and saying Cooke “should never be playing” in the league.
Melnyk is referring to Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson being injured Wednesday when a skate blade of Cooke’s cut Karlsson’s Achilles tendon when the two bumped along the boards. Karlsson needs surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
Cooke has been suspended five times by the NHL during his career.
“I don’t buy any of that garbage. Five times? No, we’re number six? How about seven and eight? At what point do you say, ‘you know what? Maybe he’s not changed.’ You do this enough times, don’t try to convince me or anybody else. People are way too intelligent,” Melnyk said to The Sports Network. “The guy gets suspended five times. That’s how many times he’s been suspended, never mind how many times he’s not been suspended.”
Cooke said he tried to contact Karlsson by text message but he has not heard from him yet.
“Obviously I’m sorry Mr. Melnyk feels that way and I understand the position he’s in and it’s not easy,” said Cooke. “I think this is different than it was in the past for me, I know where my head is and how I feel about the play and that’s most important.”