Yesterday, Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk reportedly met with the NHL about his forensic investigation into the Matt Cooke-Erik Karlsson incident, which aimed to prove Cooke intentionally sliced Karlsson’s Achilles tendon with his skate.
Today, Cooke responded to the news. From the Star-Tribune:
Cooke told me of the alleged forensics presentation: “I think it’s really strange. It’s almost a full year ago that it happened. I’ve said this from the beginning and I still say it. It was a complete accident. It’s happened two or three times since with other guys (Toronto’s Dave Bolland severed a tendon from Vancouver’s Zack Kassian in November and a week after the Cooke-Karlsson incident, Winnipeg’s Zach Redmond had an artery in his thigh cut by teammate, former Wild Antti Miettinen, late in a practice at Carolina).”
On if he wishes Melnyk would just let it go, Cooke said, “I can’t control it. I learned a long time ago, all I can control is my actions and my words. I try to do that to the best that I can. Other people are going to have judgments. They’re entitled to their own opinions. I can’t tell this guy how to spend his money. He’s entitled to do what he wants.”
Melnyk has long maintained he felt Cooke intentionally hurt Karlsson and, roughly six weeks after the incident, went public with news of his forensic investigation.
“I’m going to prove whether it was intentional or not,” Melnyk said last March, in an interview on Toronto’s Fan 590. “You watch. It may be public. It may not be public, but it’s between me and the league.”
Cooke, who was playing for Pittsburgh at the time of the incident, was exonerated by the league for the hit.
“I think it was intentional, but you have to be able to prove it and from all the television angles that we saw, you can’t see it,” Melnyk continued. “It was so fast. But the force of that skate, (it) had to go in through a sock, a sub sock, then (Karlsson’s) skin, muscle, sheath and then get to (Karlsson’s) tendon… either this guy is very good or very lucky, to be able to do that.”
Yesterday, Mike Russo of the Star-Tribune reported that neither Cooke nor the Wild would be affected by Melynk’s investigation or its subsequent findings.