ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) The NHL cracked down hard on Matt Cooke, suspending the Minnesota Wild left wing for seven games Wednesday for his knee-to-knee hit that injured Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie.
Cooke was at the league office in New York for a hearing about the incident, and his punishment finally was announced more than eight hours later. The Avalanche lead the Wild 2-1 with Game 4 looming Thursday, so Cooke will be out for this first-round series and more. If the term of the ban isn't finished during the playoffs, Cooke must complete it at the beginning of the next regular season. (MORE)