In his ruling, Colin Campbell said the league had to be consistent. Even though Cooke has been suspended for hits to head twice previously, the league VP cited Philadelphia’s Mike Richards, noting he was not suspended for a similar hit on Florida’s David Booth earlier this season.
“No one likes when a player like Marc Savard goes down the way he did. No one likes when a player like David Booth goes down the way he did. But we have to be consistent,” said Campbell.
“I know Matt Cooke is a repeat offender, he’s been suspended twice in the last year. I can’t suspend Matt Cooke for being a repeat offender, I have to find a reason. Right now our rules say that shoulders to the head are legal. Matt Cooke did not jump, and Matt Cooke did not do anything that we found illegal in his actions even though, again, you don’t like what happened.”