One of the Dirtiest NHL Players of the Modern Era Is Now a Head Coach

Published October 7, 2023 at 4:01 PM

A controversial former NHLer has been named to a head coaching position in the ECHL, and it's getting the kind of reaction you'd expect from some fans.

Matt Cooke played more than 1000 regular season NHL games between 1998 to 2015. Always known has a pest, Cooke walked the line pretty well his first nine seasons in the league, only getting suspended once. Between January of 2009 and March of 2011, he received four suspensions. Many believe he is the person that ended the career of Boston's Marc Savard. Now, Cooke has been named head coach of the ECHL's Newfoundland Growlers, an affiliate of the Toronto Marlies and Maple Leafs.

"The Newfoundland Growlers are proud to announce Matt Cooke as the fourth Head Coach in team history & Adam Pardy as a Development Coach ahead of the upcoming 2023-24 season."

There seem to be very few positive reactions to the Growlers' announcement. Here's a sampling.

"Matt Cooke is gutless."

"Coming to the home opener just to boo him."

"At least he can't permanently injure anyone from behind the bench."

"This is such an L, can't believe our team would do this."

"THAT Matt Cooke? That's embarrassing.

Cooke takes over an ECHL team that has had a lot of success over the past two seasons, which led to the vacant coaching positions. Former head coach Eric Wellwood was promoted to assistant coach with the Marlies in the AHL.

Cooke wasn't a terrible player throughout his career. He hit double digits in goals several times, and has his name on the Stanley Cup from the Pittsburgh Penguins' win in 2009. That said, his reputation certainly got tarnished near the end of his NHL run, a result of his own actions.
October 7   |   47 answers
One of the Dirtiest NHL Players of the Modern Era Is Now a Head Coach

Your opinion of Matt Cooke?

Terrible person and player2246.8 %
I liked him. He played hard1021.3 %
Don't care1021.3 %
Not sure510.6 %
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