WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Matt Cooke has taken a heavy barrage of criticism for his involvement in the injury sustained by Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson on Wednesday.
Cooke's left skate sliced Karlsson's left Achilles tendon during a puck battle along the boards, ending the reigning Norris Trophy winner's season. Karlsson underwent surgery Thursday and faces a lengthy rehabilitation period. Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and general manager Bryan Murray have expressed their displeasure with Cooke, whose disciplinary history makes leaves him vulnerable to such rebukes.
No penalty was called on the play, and the NHL Department of Player Safety saw no need to assess supplemental discipline.
Cooke expressed his regret about the incident Friday after the Penguins conducted their morning skate at MTS Centre. Cooke said he had reached out to Karlsson via a text message.
"Whether or not he responds to me, I understand," Cooke said. "At the end of the day, it was a freak, unfortunate accident and I can't control anything else but that. I obviously felt bad about the cut and just hope that he has a fast recovery. I know it's not fast, but as fast as possible."
Cooke also adopted a non-confrontational tone in regard to Melnyk's criticism and chose not to offer his feelings on the comments that have been directed toward him since the game Wednesday.