I'm going to totally contradict myself here about not bitching about players, but at this point I don't care.
Dear Matt Cooke,
I keep thinking about the jersey I have of yours hanging in the back of my closet, and the fact that not only am I disgusted with myself for having it, I'm even more disgusted with the fact I have it hanging along with 2 Trevor Linden jerseys. I think back to when I was, I think, 12 or 13 and saved up all my money from my first job and was so excited to buy that jersey. In fact one of my favourite birthday presents through my childhood years was a simple birthday card which, thanks to a mutual family friend, was signed by you and Harold Druken.
I can't think back that long to remember why I you were my favourite player at the time, I know I thought you were great, I was so nervous I puked after meeting you before a skills competition one year. I know once I started to understand everything a little more and get more into the game in a knowledgeable level you were my favourite because you were a pest, a little shit disturber. You can ask anyone who knows me how much of a pest and little shit disturber I could and still can be, so it was a perfect fit. Unlike me, however, I do not remember you ever quite crossing the line during that time, something you do way to much of now.
This topic has been beat to death, but I feel the need to bitch as well. One time, maybe I can say agree with it may have been an accident, you didn't mean to do it, blah, blah, blah. Anytime beyond that is definitely inexcusable. You aren't a rookie, you are a player who has been playing in the NHL for over 10 years, smarten the hell up or get lost. There has been enough talk of head shots and stuff this past year that even the newest of rookie knows better. I don't need my son growing up and seeing you make hits like you have been and thinking it's alright because an NHL player is doing it. In fact, even if you were playing the Canucks, I probably would not allow my son to watch the game. If it was the Matt Cooke I remember in his Canucks days, maybe, a pesky little shit disturber is fine, but I don't want my son to know of the player you have turned into.
How do you explain these things to your children? how do you explain the type of hits you make and justify it? surely you've told your children in the past that ' it was a mistake or an accident' wasn't the acceptable answer to something they did, so I sure as hell hope that isn't how you are explaining your hits and suspensions to them. Maybe they are to young to understand it now, but your reputation is being set in stone, and unless you attempt to make a change now, it will stay that way. I feel sorry that your kids have to know about this Matt Cooke.
I know you and your wife are very charitable off ice, I think The Cooke Family Foundation of Hope is amazing, and your family does amazing things with it. I wish you guys the best of luck in the future with it, and maybe one day I'll even contribute, but at this point I just can't justify it. I know you do other things as well, and this is my challenge to you. You need to find a way to reach out to young hockey players, at hockey schools etc, and explain to them why there is no room for head shots and other illegal hits in the game of hockey. These young kids look up to you big NHL players, make a positive out of it.
You need to find a way to turn this thing around, before one day another player has had enough and turns you around, you may not be as lucky as some of the players you have hit, and as much as I dislike you right now, I wouldn't wish an sort of injury upon you. Can't say the same for others.