Wild's Cooke Faces Disciplinary Action, Invited For In-Person Hearing

Updated: 04/22/2014 2:19 PM
Created: 04/22/2014 12:02 AM
By: Chris Long

The NHL's Department of Player Safety has invited Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke to an in-person hearing following his hit on Colorado's Tyson Barrie in Monday night's 1-0 Wild win

In-person hearings are offered when the NHL sees the potential for suspensions of five games or more. News of the in-person meeting came Tuesday morning.

According to multiple reports, Cooke's hearing will be Wednesday afternoon in New York.

Meanwhile for the Avalanche, postgame comments from coach Patrick Roy indicated Barrie is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with an injury to his MCL (knee ligament).

Cooke was lined up to check Barrie in open ice as Barrie crossed the Colorado defensive blue line, but contacted Barrie's leg with his knee as Barrie attempted to avoid the check.

Watch Cooke's hit on Barrie here

Cooke was assessed a minor penalty for the hit.

Per the NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, an in-person meeting invitation is made when the NHL sees the potential for a suspension of five games or more.

Former player Brendan Shanahan recently stepped down as the head of the NHL Department of Player Safety. He described the situation for in-person interviews in a prior interview with Yahoo! Sports.

From the article:

A clip of controversial hit is sent around the NHL player safety brain trust within 10 minutes of the play occurring in a game. Initial impressions of the hit are made.

"In that time, if we think this is something that could rise to four or five games, at that point maybe six, we don't box ourselves in by saying it's only a phone hearing," said Shanahan.

In the in-person hearing, Shanahan and his group take in the evidence then determine if that information increases or decreases the suspension they've considered.

Cooke will likely be suspended pending the hearing. He could appeal the suspension, or waive his in-person hearing and allow the NHL committee to levy a suspension without his input or appeal.

Cooke is no stranger to suspensions, but in interviews upon signing with the Wild last offseason, Cooke said he worked hard to clean up his game and shed his 'dirty player' image.

This would be Cooke's first suspension in the three years since the new CBA former the Department of Player Safety.

He hasn't been suspended since a ban in 2011 for elbowing New York Ranger Ryan McDonagh cost him ten regular season games and the first round of the playoffs.

Barrie's loss will sting the Avalanche, as he enjoyed a breakout season this year, scoring 13 goals and 25 assists in 64 games.

In the first two games of the current series against Minnesota, Barrie was averaging 25 minutes per game and chipped in a pair of assists.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie, right, leaves the ice after getting injured on a hit by Minnesota Wild left wing Matt Cooke during the second period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series in St. Paul, Minn., Monday, April 21.
Photo: AP/Ann Heisenfelt

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