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Minnesota Wild left wing Matt Cooke was suspended by the NHL for seven games on Wednesday. The suspension is a result of a knee to knee hit on Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie.
The hit happened during Game 3 of the Wild’s playoff series against the Avalanche on Monday. Cooke stuck out his knee to clip Barrie in the second period of Monday’s game. Barrie tried to go right to avoid a collision but was unable to avoid it. He went down in pain immediately. As a result of the hit from Cooke, Barrie suffered a medial collateral ligament injury in his left knee and will be out for four to six weeks, according to the Associated Press.
"Obviously things you don't want to have happen," Wild coach Mike Yeo said about the hit on Tuesday. "I think we all want to play good, physical, intense hockey. At the same time, I know that they want to do the same to us. Neither side wants to see anyone get hurt. Obviously on our part, we don't want to see one of our players get suspended. Obviously not going to be sitting here and saying we're in a great mood about any of that."
Cooke is an important part of the Wild’s defense and a good player. In his career he has played in 100 playoffs games. He has 10 goals, 18 assists, a plus-8 rating and 54 penalty minutes this season,which is his first with the Wild, according to Fox Sports.
This isn’t the first time that Cooke has been in trouble. The suspension handed out on Wednesday is the sixth suspension that Cooke has gotten in his career. From 2008 to 2011 he was suspended four times.Cooke has also been fined four times. He hasn’t been penalized since March 2011.
Cooke has 48 hours to appeal the suspension. The Avalanche leads the series 2-1. If Cooke’s suspension isn’t completely served during the playoffs, then it will continue at the start of next season. Nino Niederreiter will replace Cooke.