Well, that's what Michael Hurley of Fox Sports would have you believe.
In case you missed it, Rob Rossi recently did a piece in the Trib that sought to at least explain the past season for Cookie and the unknown at the time crisis his family was under. Mr. Hurley extends his sympathy to Cooke for his family problems and then takes him to task for his past.
Matt Cooke has made a living as a professional hockey player who is right on and often times over the edge of acceptable with his on ice conduct. In the past two seasons he has done major damage to Marc Savard and last season crossed the line repeatedly to such an extent that most fans, including me, had reach a point where they could no longer condone Cooke's conduct. He was suspended for, what turned out to be the rest of the season, after his elbow to the head of the Ranger's Ryan McDonagh.
According to parties involved Cooke has watched over 800 hours of tape this offseason. He claims he has "learned how to deliver a legal hit". Rumors abound from last spring that Penguins management has in essence told him to shape up or he will be shipped out. I understand the vitriol coming from the parties to whom Cooke has done damage. I expect zero sympathy from them. To them Matt Cooke is Trevor Gilles. As a supporter of my team I have to give Cooke this last chance. I truly mean that. This is his last opportunity to fix his reputation... with his own fans.
Cookie vows he never wants to deliver another dirty hit, but lets be honest, this is hockey. Things are going to happen. Even the cleanest of players delivers arm raised hits along the boards that cause concussions completely on accident. I hold no animosity towards such actions. The big thing for me is to see if Cooke can control his instinct to deliver the questionable blows he is famous for.
The Penguins have given Cooke the rope to hang himself with. It will be interesting to see what he does with it. Sadly for the rest of the league and especially our Atlantic Division rivals, Cooke's reputation is already around the bend and any 180 degree changes now will likely not be commented on positively by our opposition until Matt Cooke has walked away from the last press conference he ever has, announcing his retirement.