Full audio of today’s press conference with Senator’s GM Bryan Murray available here.
Here is a clip of what Bryan Murray had to say regarding the league’s ruling that the incident involving Matt Cooke and Erik Karlsson was an accident:
As I told Brendan Shanahan this morning, that’s not my job. My job is to worry about the Ottowa Senators. The league, Brendan being the front guy for the league in this case, has to do what they feel is right. They suggest it was a hockey play gone bad. I suggest that Matt Cooke has somewhate of a history and maybe that should be considered as well, but I don’t believe that’s the approach they took. They took it as an individual act…We get no value out of a player being suspended and that’s why I’m not pushing it at all.
There are just a few comments I would like to make on this particular quote.
1. It is right for the league to look at a player’s history when applying supplemental discipline when a player is in fact guilty of some infraction. This happened when Cooke delivered a quite deliberate elbow to the head of Ranger’s Ryan McDonagh. This happened when the Coyote’s Raffi Torres delivered a very dangerous hit to Blackhawk Marian Hossa. But examining a player’s history even though the league has determined the incident to be the disasterous consequence of a hockey play gone awry is not a time to look at history. If this had been any other player in the league, this would barely be a discussion.
Do you remember when PK Subban slewfooted James Neal last season?
That was pretty dangerous. But no one going after Subban (except Pens fans) on the incident.
Punishing accidents based on history sets a very dangerous precedent and the league made a good ruling today.
2. The league must look at acts individually. I once got pulled over for running a stop sign that I maintain that I did fully stop at. The police officer told me that a woman was hit in the intersection the week prior and that was why he was giving me a ticket. The magistrate let me off the hook when I told him.
Do you see the logic here? I shouldn’t have been punished for something that happened in that intersection that I had no involvement in. So Cooke (and every other player) should not be punished for what happened in the past incident when it has no bearing on the outcome of the situation at hand.
History as I stated should be factored into applying discipline to repeat offenses. You must look at each incident though for what it is when determining if punishment is warranted before talking about disciplinary history.
3. It is good to see that Murray is not going to push this further. It is extremely disappointing for the Sens and Karlsson that he sustained this injury and that his season is over. But Cooke serving a punishment for a fluke accident isn’t going to repair Karlsson’s tendon any faster.
Player safety is something that I write about frequently on this site and I have been a staunch critic of Shanahan’s methods and for him at times not doing enough. But “Look at Marc Savard” is not an argument that you can apply today. The league made a good decision.
Karlsson underwent surgery this morning and it is expected that his injury will take 3-4 months recovery.
Speedy recovery to Karlsson.