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Head games

Posted by Charles P. Pierce  September 26, 2010 10:17 PM

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I hope I'm alone in thinking this, but I don't believe I am, but it appears Marc Savard's hockey career is not going to come to a happy end. He's got an adult dose of post-concussion syndrome, with the emotional symptoms as well as the physical ones. Judging by the reaction on various airwaves over the past week, he doesn't have unanimous support among the fans out there, and the team tried to peddle him.

Here's what I want to know. Why is Matt Cooke, whose thuggery effectively may have ended Savard's career, allowed to play hockey this season, or at all, ever again?

This wasn't an accident. This wasn't an unfortunate collision in the flow of the game. Don't even start with that. This was an obviously deliberate attempt to inflict a serious injury. For all practical purposes and, given the fact that Cooke is a trained athlete in a sport in which players are taught to inflict violence, an assault with a deadly weapon -- to wit, an elbow. (This is how boxers get convicted for assault-with-a-deadly merely for punching someone.) Where does Savard go to get his career back? Should he sue? That's a proven loser down through the years. Who speaks for him? Who speaks for the next guy some goon tries to maim? We know more now about the lasting impact of what Cooke did to Savard then we knew last spring, so why shouldn't the penalty be revived and strengthened?

Please, NHL. Do your best to be a league for grown-ups.
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