Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins was suspended four games by the NHL on Wednesday for hitting Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin from behind Tuesday.
With 5:22 remaining in the first period and the Jackets leading the Penguins 1-0 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Tyutin skated deep into his own zone to retrieve a dump-in. With his back turned near the boards, Tyutin absorbed a blind-side hit by Cooke.
Cooke received a five-minute major penalty for charging and an additional five minutes for his fight with Jackets forward Derrick Brassard that followed the hit. Tyutin was uninjured.
"Two factors were considered in reaching this decision: Cooke delivered a forceful hit from behind on an unsuspecting opponent; also, he is considered a repeat offender under the League’s supplemental discipline rules," said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell.
Cooke will miss the Penguins' next four games -- Feb. 10 vs. Los Angeles, Feb. 11 at New York Islanders, Feb. 13 at New York Rangers and Feb. 16 at Colorado. He is eligible to return Feb. 20 at Chicago.
Cooke will forfeit $87,804.88 in salary during his banishment. He was suspended for two games on Nov. 28, 2009 and under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement forfeits his salary based on the number of games in the season (82), rather than the number of days (186). The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.