Senators owner Eugene Melnyk believes Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke intentionally injured Ottawa defenceman Erik Karlsson and is conducting an investigation to prove it.
Melnyk told Prime Time Sports on Wednesday that he is in the midst of carrying out a forensic study that will prove Cooke’s incident with Karlsson was intentional.
“I’m going to prove whether it was intentional or not. I think it was intentional but you’re going to have to prove it,” Melynk told Bob McCown and John Shannon. “The force that that skate had to go in through the sock, a sub-sock, then through skin, muscle, sheath and then to get to your tendon, man, either this guy is really good or very lucky.”
The Senators owner said he plans on presenting the results of the investigation to the NHL upon its completion.
“I’ll bring it to (Brendan) Shanahan and Gary (Bettman) and at that point they can decide whether it’s something they want to bring out publicly if I’m right, and if I’m wrong I’m wrong.
“You have to come back with professional evidence by doctors, forensic doctors that can do it. It’s actually being done right here in Toronto.”
The Norris Trophy defenceman suffered a lacerated Achilles’ tendon Feb. 13 after going into the boards with Cooke, whose skate blade came down on Karlsson’s leg. He underwent surgery and will miss the remainder of the season. Cooke was not disciplined for the play.
In the days after the incident Melnyk didn’t hold back when voicing his displeasure with the Penguins’ agitator, telling the Ottawa Sun that "This guy should be kicked ... He doesn't belong in the league.”
Cooke told reporters following the game that the incident was “a complete accident” and said he felt terrible about it. The Penguins winger, who has a history of suspensions, reached out to Karlsson through text message but received no response from the injured blueliner.
“I received a text. I didn’t think too much of it and I didn’t reply. I don’t think we have anything to say to each other,” Karlsson said. “He said what he thought was right. I think you’re going to have to ask him what he wrote. At least he reached out -- which I didn’t expect. And I think we’re going to leave it at that.”