No new rules for headshots are needed to punish Pittsburgh Penguins agitator Matt Cooke.
Cooke skated across the ice five minutes into the third period Sunday and delivered an elbow to the head of unsuspecting New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Cooke was immediately given an elbowing major and sent to the locker room with a game misconduct. McDonagh remained in the game as the Rangers took control during the five-minute penalty en route to a 5-2 victory.
Here's a look at the video courtesy of a link provided by SB Nation:
Cooke is the player most responsible for Rule 48's existence in the first place. The rule that bans blindside hits to the head of an opponent was created late last season weeks after Cooke's brutal hit on Boston's Marc Savard -- a hit that resulted in a concussion to Savard but was not illegal at the time.
This sort of thing doesn't look good for the Pens, who have led the crusade for more stringent rules governing head hits at last week's GM meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. The team has been without superstar center Sidney Crosby since early January with a concussion and Pittsburgh's majority owner Mario Lemieux proposed fining teams for players running afoul of the league's supplementary discipline system.
Such arguments ring hollow when Matt Cooke goes Matt Cooke upside another player's head.
Cooke was suspended four games after he sent Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin headfirst into the boards last month. Since he's a repeat offender under league rules, this suspension could be much harsher.
-- A.J. Perez