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Cooke reaches out to Karlsson via text

Matt Cooke

FILE - In this March 27, 2012 file photo, Pittsburgh Penguins’ Matt Cooke skates during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders in Pittsburgh. Cooke was faced with a choice last summer, mend his ways or find something else to do with the rest of his life. A year later, the former Bad Boy has turned himself into one of the most disciplined role players on a Stanley Cup favorite. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)


Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke faced a throng of reporters today in Winnipeg prior to tonight’s Penguins-Jets game.

Obviously, everyone wanted to know what Cooke had to say two days after his skate blade cut Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson’s Achilles’ tendon, ending the 22-year-old’s season.

Per the Winnipeg Sun, Cooke said he texted Karlsson, but “whether or not he responds to me, I understand. At the end of the day, it was a freak, unfortunate accident and I can’t control anything else but that.”

Cooke also said he understands Senators owner Eugene Melnyk’s frustration, though he was “sorry” Melnyk feels Cooke doesn’t belong in the NHL.

Clearly, the 34-year-old knows his reputation precedes him, but he says this incident isn’t like the ones that earned him the reputation.

“This is different than it was in the past for me,” he said. “I know where my head is and how I feel about the play and that’s what’s most important.”