Suspended Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke apologized today for his knee to knee hit that sidelined Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie for 4-6 weeks.
"First and foremost I'm disappointed and sorry that Tyson Barrie can't play for the Colorado Avalanche tonight. I wish that he could," said Cooke. "It was not my intent to collide with him knee-to-knee. It was my intent to finish my check."
Video showed Cooke extend his left left to ensure he made contact with Barrie during the Wilds 1-0 overtime win in game 3 of their Western Conference playoff series with Colorado. Avs players weren't sure whether or not to believe the hit was unintentional.
"I'm sure he didn't go in to the hit saying 'I'm going to take this guys MCL out'. I'm sure nobody does that," said Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog. "To some extent you have to learn from your past experiences and I feel like he's had enough experiences that he should be smarter and take smarter decisions."
Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy didn't go as far as saying he was disappointed with the leagues decision to suspend Cooke for 7 games. But did say moving forward the penalty could be more severe.
"Tyson is very valuable to us and it doesn't matter if it's 5 games, 15 games, 20 games, we won't play with Tyson tonight," said Roy.