You won’t believe what Colin Campbell said....
I must have watched the Matt Cooke on Marc Savard hit about 30 times today. It’s the hot topic of the day, especially with the NHL general managers meeting today to discuss illegal hits to the head.
To me, this hit was much worse than the Mike Richards on David Booth blind-side hit from earlier this season, as it appeared that Cooke reached out and put his arm right into Savard’s helmet. It may not have been point of his elbow, but it certainly was not his shoulder.
Well, NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell doesn’t think so.
In an interview on Fan 590 today, Campbell said he didn’t think Cooke hit Savard with his elbow and hit him with his shoulder instead. He’ll continue to review the incident and will have a decision on a possible suspension before the Penguins next game on Thursday.
My first reaction was: Are you kidding?
My second one was just to sigh, and settle back down to write, once again, about the issues concerning these sorts of hits. Technically, a hit to the head by a shoulder is legal and going by that criteria technically Cooke should not be suspended. If Campbell honestly doesn’t believe his arm or elbow was involved in the hit then he shouldn’t suspend them. The GM’s are gathering this week to discuss the legality of all hits to the head and if there is any logic involved in these meetings, then any and all hits will be deemed illegal.
The fact that Campbell doesn’t believe the hit was caused bu an elbow speaks to the heart of the issue itself. Hits that result in serious injury -- especially head injuries -- should not be as subjective as they are. Was it boarding or not? Was it an elbow or upper arm? It shouldn’t matter....any hit to the head that is the result of careless play should be punished, and punished the exact same way each time.