Colin Campbell Says Matt Cooke Hit Legal and “The Big E” Agrees…Sort Of

March 12th, 2010 by Eric Warren Leave a reply »
I absolutely agree with Colin Campbell's decision regarding the hit delivered by the Pittsburgh Penguins' Matt Cooke on Boston's Marc Savard.

Do not assume my agreeing with the decision means I liked the hit. I didn't.

The fact remains, however, that it was a legal hit according to the rules of the NHL regarding shoulder checks.

There was a time in the NHL when the players respected one another. When Ken Baumgartner, who played 13 seasons in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs, among others, was about to deliver an open ice shoulder check and he knew his "victim" couldn't see him, he would shout "heads up" before delivering the hit.

You never hear of that happening anymore.

This, to me, is the biggest underlying problem the NHL has to overcome if it wants to eliminate head shots in the league.

People everywhere are crying foul because Colin Campbell decided the difference between the Cooke hit and Mike Richards hit was that there was no obvious intent to injure. He's right. If you watch the Richards hit, his body sprang up into the check, which demonstrates a likely intent to injure.

Cooke did not ...

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