National Hypocrisy League

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Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy had an interesting thought this morning when discussing Matt Cooke’s flagrant elbow to the head of the Rangers’ Ryan McDonough and the NHL’s potential reaction to it in this new climate of ultra-sensitivity to head shots.

Pittsburgh has 10 games left, and he should be done for the season. At least. If the League really wants to send a message (not to him, since he clearly doesn’t either “get it” or care, but to cheapshot pukes like him) he’ll sit for multiple playoff games as well.

But let’s say if he gets to play again this year by the NHL’s standards, since we all know how iffy that whole situation always is. In that case, Mario Lemieux, the guy who wants to make teams accountable for the repeat offenders they employ and who wants to get plays that are “unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport” out of this garage league, should do it for them.

It makes sense, right? If Mario Lemieux has the fierce integrity and extreme distaste for this sort of thing that he has professed in the past, he’ll suspend Cooke from the team himself. He’ll bar him from the team for the rest of the season and buy out his contract in the off-season. Kick him off the team completely because this is exactly the sort of player that is ruining the sport Mario loves.

Right?

Of course, he’s also going to have his hands full dealing with the horde of protesters from Montreal marching around the Consol Energy Center with their signs of condemnation for Cooke and support for McDonough. I’m sure the extradition papers for his arrest in Quebec have been filed (McDonough is Canadian after all) and the press release from Air Canada are all in the works today, too.

Right?

Of course, we all know better. Welcome to The National Hypocrite League. Mario Lemieux may be one of the greatest players the NHL has ever seen but he is also one of the League’s most prolific whiners. Let us revisit his recent comments after the brawl filled game between the Penguins and Islanders.

“Hockey is a tough, physical game, and it always should be. But what happened Friday night on Long Island wasn’t hockey. It was a travesty. It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that.

“The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed.

“We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players. We must make it clear that those kinds of actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action.

“If the events relating to Friday night reflect the state of the league, I need to re-think whether I want to be a part of it.”

I ask you. Could not every fucking word of the above describe Matt Cooke and the incidents in which he has been involved? From Artem Anisimov to Marc Savard to Ryan McDonough and every stop in-between? So where is Mario’s statement today? Where is the outrage?

The silence is deafening.

To be fair, there are at least a few rumblings coming out of Montreal, the Universe’s current Nexus of Hockey Injury Indignation, where Mario remains a living Demi-God in the minds of many. Jack Todd (note: not Jaques Toddaire) in the Gazette echoes the sentiments of many in calling for Lemieux to take action on the “NHL’s dirtiest player”. However, as of this morning, the United Nations Emergency Hotline has not reported a flood of calls from Habs fans calling for action on Cooke. Maybe they’re busy sending flowers to Max Pacioretty.

As a public service to the NHL and anyone needing a refresher on Matt Cooke’s history I refer you to the internet’s finest catalogue of his illustrious actions over the years.

More on this as it develops.

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3 Responses to “National Hypocrisy League”

  1. phonymahoney Says:

    Seriously. It’s one thing to defend your team, but it’s another to speak out about the NHL needing to step up its game with more disciplinary action and then not say a word when you’re the one signing the paycheck of one of the dirtiest players in the league. I made the same point in my Bruins blog today. I used to be a Lemieux fan, and now I just think he’s a tard.

  2. Ken Socrates Says:

    I don’t know if I was ever a fan of his but I respected his talent. There was no denying how amazingly good he was. Later in his career came all the whining about the clutching and grabbing and it seemed ever since he’s had nothing but criticism for the the NHL.

    Now, the NHL deserves it’s share of criticism, don’t get me wrong. There are times it seems like a car driven but a blind drunk baboon or Gary Busey (same thing, really). However, Lemieux’ comments and complaints are always very self serving and he rarely steps up to the plate on any issue other than those concerning his own team and his own style of play. The lack of condemnation, and action, when it comes to Cooke makes me question what I had always thought to be impeccable character and integrity. That respect I had for him has diminished a bit, for sure.

    Thanks for the link, by the way, PH. Added Bleeding Black and Gold to the blogroll here, too. Rock on, brother.

  3. phonymahoney Says:

    Thanks, it’s a work in progress.

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