The Ottawa Senators lost their biggest impact player on Wednesday night when Erik Karlsson severed his Achilles tendon when Matt Cooke’s skate clamped down on the defending Norris Trophy winners heel. Karlsson immediately went down in agony, when he tried to skate off on his own (even Swedish hockey players are tough) he tried to push off on his injured leg and could be seen screaming. Early word is that Karlsson will need to undergo surgery to repair the tendon, which will definitely put him out for the rest of this year, and could put him out into next season.
Now, do I think Matt Cooke intentionally did it? Probably not? But if it was almost anyone else in the league that thought wouldn’t even cross my mind. Cooke’s storied reputation proceeds him, even if he has come along way to rehabilitate himself. Even though I’m certain Cooke didn’t intend to injure Karlsson on this play, it could go down as another player who had their career altered by Cooke. Hockey fans everywhere are certainly hoping Karlsson can return to form as he’s one of the most exciting young talents in the NHL.
By the way, the Senators are none too pleased with the hit. It’ll be interest to see what Shanny has to say about this one, if anything.
Judge for yourself, did Cooke mean to do it or was it just a freak accident?