ESPN is reporting that Matt Cooke has been suspended for the remaining 10 games of the regular season PLUS the first round of the playoffs.
I believe that this suspension is fair, but puts Mario and the Pen's organization in a very difficult position. A potential 17 game suspension (assuming the first round goes the distance) is a fair suspension in my opinion given Cooke's blatant disregard for the rules and his status as a repeat offender. However, there is going to be immense pressure on Mario to put his 'money where his mouth is' regarding hits to the head.
Some people have suggested Lemieux 'fine' himself and donate the proceeds to charity (great write up Hooks). Although this is a noble gesture that would be yet another savvy move by the Pen's PR machine, I do not believe that Mario should be obligated to play by his hypothetically proposed solution nor do I believe that the Pens should be subjected to these proposed rules. These were merely suggestions open for debate at the GM's meetings, yet much of the media is calling Mario a potential hypocrite for employing Cooke (another discussion for another day).
The true nature of these penalties is the impact that it will have on the team. The team has now lost a physical presence who can clear space and stick up for Sidney should he come back. Also, Cooke is a great penalty killer. Losing Cooke could have a major impact on the Pens playoffs hopes.
Basically, I do not think that the Pens should have to tack on additional penalties and further punish the team in this year's playoff push. Thoughts on the fairness/impact of the suspension?