Last season, Matt Cooke made what many saw as a remarkable turnaround in his game. He went from the NHL's most hated player and cheap-shot artist to a law-abiding hockey player.
It was enough to earn Cooke the nod from the Pittsburgh press as the Penguins' Masterton Trophy nominee last season. For those who don't know the Masterton Trophy is awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. The Pittsburgh press felt like his turnaround deserved the attention.
Bruins broadcaster Jack Edwards couldn't disagree more.
Moments after the Bruins scored on a power play via a Cooke penalty on Saturday afternoon, Edwards took the chance to reminisce on the decision from the scribes in Pittsburgh. He was particularly offended given he remembers how Cooke hit Marc Savard and presumably ended his career.
The money line from Edwards: "Nominating Cooke for the Masterton is about the equivalent of nominating Sirhan Sirhan as the prisoner of the year."
For those unfamiliar with Sirhan Sirhan, here is his Wikipedia page.
Merits of the discussion aside, the timing just seems so incredibly poor from Edwards. Most times, it would be seen as just Edwards being Edwards, a bit over the top and bombastic. But this was the first day after the manhunt that locked down the city of Boston for a whole day. The city is recovering from the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon. It just comes across as tone deaf. There's a time and place; this just didn't seem like the time or place, to more or less compare Cooke to an assassin.
I wonder if Edwards and Senators owner Eugene Melnyk are buddies.
UPDATE: Edwards issued an apology during the first intermission.
I am sorry for insulting Matt Cooke, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the National Hockey League, and anyone else upset by my Cooke comments.— Jack Edwards (@RealJackEdwards) April 20, 2013
I made a mistake.My fault all the way.This is my apology.Bad week, bad emotional reaction by me.— Jack Edwards (@RealJackEdwards) April 20, 2013