They suggested it was a hockey play gone bad. I suggested Cooke has somewhat of a history
And yes, you can wonder why Cooke’s left leg was raised at all, what the point of that was, but we’ll take TSN analyst Aaron Ward’s word for it, as a former player, that it’s not unusual.
Besides, if you take a cross-section of skate cuts and those who inflict them, it’s not exactly a murderers’ row of criminals.
The skate that sliced into Teemu Selanne’s Achilles in January 1994 was that of Anaheim defenceman Don McSween, w hose brief NHL history did not cast him as a dangerous offender.
Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa’s Achilles cut, in 2007, came on an innocent-looking tangle with Nashville’s Vern Fiddler, whose second-most notable contribution to the Bieksa narrative was when he imitated the Canuck defenceman’s “angry face” as he skated past the Vancouver bench in a game last February, causing coach Alain Vigneault a giggling fit and even eliciting a smile from his grumpy defenceman. Three years later, Bieksa was the hammer, not the nail, in a hit on Phoenix’s Petr Prucha, when he was sliced on the calf.
The most famous cut of all came in 1989 when the skate of St. Louis’s Steve Tuttle sliced open the jugular vein of Buffalo goalie Clint Malarchuk, who nearly died — either that, or the 250-stitch gash the skate of Detroit’s Gerard Gallant accidentally carved in Borje Salming’s face in 1986.
What do all of those incidents tell us? Skates are sharp.
Coming back you almost have to teach yourself how to walk again because you lose all the function of your foot when you slice your Achilles. I hope for the best for him. He is going to have to be patient with the process
Full body armor is not an option, but Achilles cuts are eminently preventable by simply wearing Kevlar-fortified socks. They ought to be as basic a part of the equipment as the hockey helmet. Then again, so should visors (see Malhotra, Manny).
Bieksa has been wearing the Kevlar sock sleeves for nearly five years. He was mildly amused to see that on Thursday morning, they were all laid out in each player’s stall in the Canucks’ room.
“We have done some tests with [the socks material] and taken the X-Acto knife to it and scissors, and it doesn’t go all the way through,” he said. “So I don’t know why you wouldn’t wear them.”
Karlsson wasn’t, and he will pay a heavy price.
“I haven’t got the report on him, but it’s a difficult injury to come back from,” Bieksa said. “Obviously you are going to be immobilized for quite some time in a cast. You have the difficulty of atrophy and all that stuff. Coming back you almost have to teach yourself how to walk again because you lose all the function of your foot when you slice your Achilles. I hope for the best for him. He is going to have to be patient with the process.”
It’s just a thought, but if the ink isn’t quite dry on the Collective Bargaining Agreement yet, perhaps Shanahan’s Player Safety outfit and the NHL Players Association ought to consider getting Kevlar socks written into it.
Either that, or rename the department.