Cooke was given a minor penalty for kneeing Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie in Game 3 of their playoff series on Monday night. It was announced right after the game that Barrie was going to miss the next 4-6 weeks with an MCL injury.
It was clear this would be a long suspension for Cooke right away. First of all, the hit was terrible and it was clear from all the replays that he led with his knee and only stretched it out further to make contact with Barrie. This was strike one from the NHL.
The second factor was Barrie's injury. It was bad and one that could very well end the season for Barrie unless the Avalanche make a deep run.
Strike three was Cooke's history. He's not a repeat offender per the CBA but that only impacts fines. Cooke's extensive history with fines and suspensions, even if they haven't come in the past two years since Cooke has worked to reform his game and reputation, mattered.