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Konopka calls Cooke suspension a "statement" by the NHL

Arguably the most vocal Islanders this season about the league’s approach to handing out punishment, fourth-line center Zenon Konopka said he was satisfied with the discipline assessed to Penguins’ Matt Cooke.

The League suspended Cooke for 10 games plus the first round of the playoffs.

“They had to make a statement and a statement was made. We want head shots out of the game and that was a deliberate head shot,” Konopka said.

The 30-year-old tough guy said he viewed Cooke’s elbow on Rangers Ryan McDonagh Sunday as a far more egregious offense than teammate Trevor Gillies’ hit on Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck that earned him a 10-game ban earlier this month.

“I don’t think Gillies’ [hit] was a deliberate head shot. Hopefully people can see the difference between those two hits.”
 

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