You're the worst player in the league, Matt Cooke, and your GM should be embarrassed

I miss you, Derek :( - Bruce Bennett

When Matt Cooke embarassingly skates out onto Gahden ice for the too-many-eth time tonight, it'll be his 1,003rd game in an NHL uniform. That feels like 280 too many, as It was his 723rd that forever changed his reputation and relationship with the NHL.

I don't need to remind anyone what happened on March 7th, 2010. All you need to do is look at Marc Sarvard's game log from that season, a stat sheet forever calling for another game. It was Marc Savard's 782nd career game. He was at the blue line and had just let a shot go when Matt Cooke came through his blindside with his shoulder. With that one hit, damn near everything changed. There were the Colin Campbell emails that led to him stepping down during the 2010-11 playoffs. The department of player safety stepped in. Guys are actually called for hits to the head now.

But the biggest change is probably that Marc Savard, a point-per-game center with the Bruins, had to retire.

Sure, he came back and played 25 more games the following year, but a pretty routine bump during a game in Colorado ended it for good. And there he's sat since 2010 - on the cap, signed to a very nice deal, and trying to get a Major Junior coaching job somewhere. He was lucky that the NHL allowed the Bruins to put his name on the cup, though it may have been more an indication that they knew he was done than anything else.

There have been plenty of heartbreaking tweets by Marc Savard since the injury and I just don't have the heart to look them up.

(There's certainly room for debate here about how Marc Savard almost certainly came back too early and that contributed to the end of his career. While probably true, I'm going to blame the aggressor rather than the victim.)

And of course, since the injury...and Matt Cooke's next couple infractions...we now get to hear the story about how Matt Cooke is a changed man, he really spends a lot of time with family (because nobody wants to be around him?) and gives money to charity (aside from the players emergency fund that he funneled a good chunk of a paycheck or two) and all that. He's really not such a bad guy, you see. Gives great quote so the local journalists all love him. And you know what?

It doesn't fucking matter. Matt Cooke could save orphans from a burning building and he'd still be the guy who should retire in shame for ending Marc Savard's career to me. I was happy to leave it at that for the longest time, until this most recent free agency period.

On July 15th, 2013, Matt Cooke signed in Minnesota.

He was a Minnesota Wild for 2 years for greater-than-0 millions of dollars. And you know what? It's really put me off the Wild this year. It seems like every time I want to check in on how Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund and friends are playing, I see Matt Cooke uglying up another box score with his shitstain of a name. Add that, on top of all of this, he stole Derek Boogaard's number. He is the only one to have worn it since Boogaard's tragic death. Makes me sick to my stomach to see anyone wearing 24 in Minnesota, much less a legitimate villain like Matt Cooke.

It felt to me like all of my fellow Bruins fans that don't appreciate my second-favorite team had all gotten together and gotten Cliff Fletcher on the phone. Or Minnesota didn't want me buying jerseys anymore. Or...I don't even know what. I guess that's how we got to 600-some-odd words that could really be boiled down to a few choice ones. Here they are:

Fuck You, Eat Shit, and Die, Matt Cooke

Let's go Bruins.

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