Matt Cooke Suspended 7 Games for Kneeing Avs' Tyson Barrie

Tim KeeneyContributor IApril 23, 2014

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31:  Matt Cooke #24 of the Minnesota Wild forechecks against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on March 31, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Updates from Friday, April 25

Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos has an update on Cooke:

Updates from Thursday, April 24

Patrick Roy spoke about Matt Cooke's suspension (via John Shipley of the Pioneer Press):

Cooke also issued a statement (via Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press and Rob Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun): had video of Cooke's full statement:

Original Text

If Matt Cooke is going to return for this year's postseason, the Minnesota Wild are going to have to find a way past the Colorado Avalanche. 

Following a knee-to-knee collision that left Colorado's Tyson Barrie sidelined with an MCL injury in Game 3, the 35-year-old veteran has been suspended seven games by the NHL. 

The Star Tribune's Michael Russo has the news: 

John Shannon of HockeyCentral on Sportsnet reports on how long Cooke has to appeal the suspension: 

Cooke, whose extensive history of dirty hits, fines and suspensions has turned him into one of the biggest villains in the league, collided with Barrie in the second-period on Monday night. The Avs' 22-year-old burgeoning star defenseman was forced from the game and eventually diagnosed with an MCL injury that will keep him out for at least a month. 

Here's a look at the play in question:

The incident netted Cooke a two-minute minor penalty for kneeing, but the result was clearly much worse for Barrie, and Avalanche teammate Erik Johnson, via Andy McDonnell, put it simply: 

Cooke has worked to repair his image over the last couple of seasons, but it's impossible to ignore his history when someone ends up hurt from one of his hits, and TSN's Darren Dreger believes the punishment was just: 

In 82 games for the Wild this season, Cooke logged just over 15 minutes per game on the ice, tallying 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) and a plus/minus of plus-eight. 

The Wild were able to capture Game 3 at home, but they still face a two-games-to-one deficit in the series. Game 4 is on Thursday, but no matter what happens, Cooke will be sidelined for the entirety of the series. 

If Minnesota is eliminated, he'll serve the rest of his suspension at the beginning of next season.