The victim this time was former Wisconsin and Rangers rookie defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
McDonagh stayed in the game, but that doesn't mean anything. Concussion symptoms often pop up after the fact, which is precisely why the NHL's long-standing method of suspending based on injuries suffered is just stupid.
Anyway, Cooke was penalized and kicked out of the game, and he has an in-person hearing with the NHL Monday, at which the hammer should be dropped on the longtime troublemaker.
There simply is no excuse for Cooke anymore. Not for a shot like this, which is a direct shot targeting the head of an unsuspecting opponent.
At least, I think it's reasonable to suggest McDonagh was unsuspecting. After all, in today's NHL, why would he think even Matt Cooke is dumb enough to elbow someone in the head on national television?
Even Penguins coach Dan Bylsma was irked.
"I don't think you can talk about eliminating headshots as an organization and not expect that to be examined," coach Dan Bylsma said. "It looks to be contact right to the head. The league will look at that at treat it as such."
Ten games is a starting point for Cooke. That's how many games the Penguins have in the regular season. If the NHL wants to finally start sending a message to repeat offenders, they'll find the right thing to do here is suspend Cooke for the playoffs, too. No matter how far Pittsburgh goes.
No excuses this time.
This is a repeat offender, and there was no effort made to mask this one.
Say goodbye, Matt Cooke.