While discussing the incident where Matt Cooke’s skate cut Erik Karlsson and lacerated his achilles tendon, Bob McKenzie, on TSN, explained how the NHL Department of Player Safety determines whether a player should have a hearing.
McKenzie says, “They don’t look at the number and they don’t look at the name. They look at the play and forget about how the players are for a moment and ask ‘is that an illegal play in and of itself. If they don’t think it’s an illegal play then they don’t even get to the fact that it’s Matt Cooke. If it’s illegal and it’s Matt Cooke then the book is thrown at him because of history. The vast majority of people spoken with tonight believe that it was a horrific injury but not one with malicious intent.”
Arron Ward then said, “take the emotions, the characters, the names out of this and it’s simply a hockey play with an unfortunate result. It’s a hit and pin, an attempt to contain a player along the boards. This a routine play and second nature for hockey players. It’s what you are taught to do.”