I've read a few posts, on this thread and others, absolutely flaming nameless individuals for claiming that Cooke intended to injure Karlsson. It is noteworthy that I don't think anyone said that on the thread, and the media responses I've seen have all been totally behind the "freak accident" on a "routine hockey play" narrative. What bothers me are the claims that anyone who even thinks it was intentional are "asinine" or "idiots". This type of response pisses me off, and it has compelled me to write a brief response.
I am not convinced it was intentional. But I am equally unconvinced that it was an accident. The video is not conclusive either way. There is only one person who can be 100% sure one way or the other. To denigrate a viewpoint contrary to your own as stupid when the reality is that there is no solid foundation for either side is pretty weak.
I get it. "They were engaged early". "He was trying the hit and pin". He couldn't have the body control...and so on. Sorry, but I don't buy it. I can't say it was intentional, but none of the arguments that I've heard exonerate Cooke either.
Only Cooke knows for sure.
Lifting the leg like he did is questionable in its own right. If he's using his leg to apply force to Karlsson and pin him to the corner, you can understand lifting the leg. However it's wrong to say it gives Cooke "leverage", because it actually puts him at a mechanical disadvantage if Karlsson pushes back with any amount of force. It also doesn't make sense why he drove his foot forward and down with enough force to cut the tendon.
Some have called it "reckless". If that's true, then he should be penalized. Recklessness, while not quite as morally blameworthy as full intent, is still sufficient in criminal law to establishmens rea, and the standard of proof in criminal justice is higher than employment discipline. It sounds like the NHL didn't feel it was reckless, or discipline would have been imposed.(however when it comes to supplemental discipline, the NHL has very little credibility).
I haven't played hockey in years, but it seemed strange to me to lift your leg, then drive it down and forward. You have to know you have a blade under your foot, and it seems, at least, negligent to do so.
Another important point that was made above is that while he may not have intended to cut the achilles, he may have intended to step on him.
Look, I admit I'm pissed off. I admit I have an emotional investment in both Karlsson and the Senators. However that doesn't mean my brain shuts off. It doesn't mean I lose the capacity for rational analysis.
My conclusion at this point is that I just don't know. Because of that, I am not mad there was no discipline on Cooke.
But there's a huge difference between "inconclusive" and "this is obviously an accident and if you think otherwise, you're an irrational Sens' fan or an idiot". I think that sentiment is rooted in a natural, deeply engrained and possibly subconscious desire to not want to believe a player would do something like that to another player. Understandable, but not "factual".
Only one person really knows.
On another topic, I was interested in the mandatory Kevlar socks suggestion. Problem is, if you do that on the basis of player safety, at some point the same logic will apply to full face protection in hockey. I know I'm ready for that, but I bet a huge percentage of fans will disagree with me.
As for Cooke, if it was an accident, we need to move on. He shouldn't have to fight or "pay the piper" if it was an accident. However if it was recklessness - huge suspension. If intentional, he should be prosecuted criminally.
10-team Keeper. Everyone keeps 12 (last season - Bold) + 3 (players with less than 164 NHL games played -last season - Bold Italics). Points for G (2), A (2), PIM (.1), Hit (.1) SHP(1), W(4), SO(8) Must dress 4C, 4LW, 4RW, 6D, 1G
C - E. Staal, Tavares , Bergeron, Turris, Zibanejad, Granlund
LW - Kovalchuk, E. Kane, Pacioretty, Zetterberg Filpulla, Latendresse
RW - Iginla,Wheeler, Pominville, Tarasenko, Doan, Silfverberg
D - Karlsson, Phaneuf, Edler, Green, Kronwall, Pitkanen, Keith, Burns
G - Rinne, Schneider
My all time favourites: