"Slew foot"… or just a "hockey play"?
Judging from some reactions on Twitter, you would think that Brendan Shanahan will be calling a press conference, walking up the podium and proclaiming, "Ladies and gentlemen... we got him." (a la Saddam Hussein)
However, looking at the alleged infraction by offensively-skilled-yet-offensively-thuggish bad guy Matt Cooke on the New York Rangers' Brad Richards... I gotta tell you... I'm not so sure.
Don't get me wrong, I don't like him either... my contempt and disgust for him and guys like him is well-documented. However, this is just a hockey play.
I'm still trying to find a video that wasn't shot by a camera off of somebody's TV, with a voice slurring "Yep, that's a kicking motion." But, oh well... since the NHL does not seem to have a reason to have a meeting or a video analysis... this is what we have to work with:
What our apparent Rangers fan is neglecting to narrate (though he may be a little biased, hence the title and content) is that Cooke does appear to be trying to play the puck. Richards gets the pass off, and then there's the contact.
Now, unless Matt Cooke is some diabolical genius who can make a fraction-of-a-second decision to sweep his leg to put Richards on his ass, while still making it look like he's just turning to follow the play...
...yeah, sorry, Rangers fans. You're going to have a hard time proving intent there. Sure, intent is only part of it... "reckless" can also be a factor, but I don't think that exists here, either.
I know fans are gunning for Matt Cooke. And I totally get it. The crap he has pulled the previous two seasons is ridiculous, and his penchant for intent to injure is renowned. I'd love to see him banned... and I'm still sure he will screw up again.
You're just not going to see him get it for this play.
He's certainly not going to win any additional imaginary followers to that little "Cooke for Byng" campaign, though.
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