ST. PAUL, Minn. — Matt Cooke will face an in-person hearing Wednesday in New York at 10:30 a.m. MDT, after his kneeing infraction against the Avalanche's Tyson Barrie Monday in a playoff game.
As is standard policy for in-person supplemental disciplinary hearings with the NHL, the Minnesota Wild forward will be joined by the Wild's general manager, Chuck Fletcher, and Cooke's agent, Pat Morris (also the agent for the Avs' Ryan O'Reilly). A representative from the NHL Players' Association also will be on hand, and Wild coach Mike Yeo has the option to be present. The hearing will be conducted by new NHL director of player safety, Stephane Quintal, who recently took over for Brendan Shanahan after he took a front-office job with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The NHL offers in person hearings when considering suspending a player for more than five games. Cooke has five previous NHL suspensions according to the Minnesota Wild.
The NHL is able to take Cooke's "repeat offender" history into account because he's committed a foul worthy of supplementary discipline. Cooke's last suspension was in March 2011.
Official repeat offender status only affects the calculation of lost salary. A repeat offender (someone who gets a second suspension within the previous 18 months) loses games pay instead of days pay.
A two-game suspension for a repeat offender is calculated as 2/82. A 2-game suspension for a first timer is 2/182 or however may days are left in the regular season. Since NHL players aren't paid any salary in the playoffs, though, the issue of Cooke's "repeat offender" status regarding fines essentially is moot, unless it is long enough to carry into the next regular season.
According to Avs coach Patrick Roy, Barrie will miss 4-6 weeks with a medial collateral ligament sprain in his left knee, likely ending his season unless Colorado makes it beyond the Western Conference semifinals.
Tuesday, Roy reiterated his belief that Cooke should and will be suspended by the NHL for the kneeing infraction that injured Barrie.
"I was thinking the same thing today as yesterday, that it was the play of the game," Roy said. "We lost our best defenseman and we thought that could have been a five-minute major. It certainly could have broken their momentum."
Asked if the Avs would respond in a similarly "aggressive" manner against top Wild players in Game 4, Roy said: "It's not the time for that. The league will do their part, the referees will do their part on the ice. We're just going to go out there and play our game. I don't think we should focus on anything else. Yesterday, we didn't play our best."
"Predatory, intent to injure and dishonorable," said Mark Rycroft, a former Avalanche and University of Denver forward who serves as studio analyst for Altitude broadcasts.
Cooke, who was unavailable to reporters after the Wild won 1-0 in overtime, is likely to be suspended for at least five games. On Twitter, @NHLPlayerSafety said Cooke "may waive his right to the meeting in New York but it's still possible for the suspension to be more than 5 games."
Minnesota players were off and unavailable Tuesday, but coach Mike Yeo spoke about the situation at his afternoon news conference. He refused to criticize Cooke, who he coached as an assistant in Pittsburgh for two seasons ending in 2010.
"This is a guy, I don't want to get into a whole laundry list of things trying to defend him," Yeo said. "This is a situation that happened in the game last night and I believe the league is going to handle this. They always do. They obviously looked at it very carefully."
He added: "I would have to think that something would probably happen by (Wednesday) as far as a conversation between Matt and the league."
Cooke missed the final 10 games of the 2010-11 regular season and first round of the playoffs because of his elbow to the head of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
The suspension was the longest of Cooke's career and the Penguins supported it wholeheartedly. In a statement, Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero said the hit was "exactly the kind of hit we're trying to get out of the game."
Cooke released a statement at the time, saying "I realize and understand, more so now than ever, that I need to change."
Mike Chambers: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/mikechambers
Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Cooke has served five NHL suspensions, missing 20 regular-season games and seven in the playoffs. His last punishment (17 games in 2011) was his longest. A look at some other incidents for which he was not suspended:
March 2014: Cooke delivers a late hit on Edmonton's Sam Gagner, who is injured. No penalty.
February 2013: Cooke checks Ottawa's Erik Karlsson, and his skate gets wedged in the back of the defenseman's boot, severing his Achilles tendon. Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said: "To have him (Karlsson) taken out by a goon is unconscionable." No penalty.
February 2011: Cooke delivers a knee-on-knee hit to Washington superstar Alex Ovechkin and is given a two-minute minor for tripping.
December 2010: Cooke leads with his left elbow to check Winnipeg's Evander Kane. No penalty.
Dec. 2010: Cooke leads with his right elbow to check Phoenix's Keith Yandle, and a dangerous blow is absorbed. Penalized two minutes for roughing.
November 2010: Cooke hits Karlsson from behind after teammate Max Talbot makes a clean hit on the Senators defenseman. Penalized two minutes for boarding.
October 2010: Cooke is penalized three times for goaltending interference in a game against the New York Islanders and American goalie Rick DiPietro.
March 2010: Cooke connects with his shoulder to the head of Boston's Marc Savard as the Bruins' star has his back to him. No penalty, but a blow-to-the-head rule was created from this hit and others like it.
February 2010: Cooke cross-checks Montreal's Andrei Markov from behind and into the boards, injuring the defenseman. No penalty.
June 2009: Cooke gets tangled on the ice with a Detroit defenseman and goalie Chris Osgood and tries to kick the goalie in the head. No penalty.
May 2009: Cooke directs a knee-on-knee collision that injures Carolina's Erik Cole. No penalty.
March 2009: Cooke directs a knee-on-knee collision with Winnipeg's Zach Bogosian. Minor penalty for tripping.
November 2008: Cooke targets New Jersey's Zach Parise against the Devils' bench with the door open and awaiting Parise's exit from the ice. Parise takes the hit and jumps over the swayed door to avoid a more dangerous collision. Penalty for roughing.
Mike Chambers, The Denver Post