Lecavalier speaks out: “Cooke is a dirty player”

Matt Cooke is public enemy number one in the NHL right now.

Hockey World Blog has well documented the events over the last few weeks from the initial head shot to Marc Savard, who is likely to be out for the remainder of the season, to Don Cherry’s comments on Cooke and his montage of Cooke cheap shots over the years to the most recent video that Matt posted of Shawn Thornton going after Cooke to get retribution for the Savard hit. Most players in the league, including his own teammates in Pittsburgh, know that Cooke has a history of violent acts in the league and that he put himself in a disgraceful position when he followed through with the Savard hit.

The latest NHL superstar to speak out against Cooke is Tampa Bay Lightning superstar Vincent Lecavalier who, if you recall from the Don Cherry video, took a blind-side hit from Cooke nearly two years ago that forced Lecavalier to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. Cherry stated in his rant that Lecavalier, “never was the same,” since getting hit by Cooke. Lecavalier has spoken out against Cooke and the league’s decision not to suspend him several times already and continued his media assault on Cooke yesterday during an interview with NHL Live.

“I just know that a player like Matt Cooke knew exactly what he was doing, coming in with his shoulder. He had plenty of time to move out of the way but that’s the type of player he is. Matt Cooke is a dirty player. He’s been doing it his whole career, he’s done it this year and I’m not even surprised he’d make a hit like that.”

Lecavalier added, “I thought he should have been suspending, I couldn’t believe the league would protect a guy like that.”

The entire interview can be found on NHL.com and lasts a little under 12 minutes. Lecavalier also touches on the new ownership situation in Tampa Bay and the recent losses the team has experienced that further push them out of playoff contention.

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