Cooke: 'I need to change'

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke wants to change his stripes. (Dave Abel/QMI Agency)

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke wants to change his stripes. (Dave Abel/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:34 PM ET

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke wants to prove he can change his stripes.

Of course, he’ll have to finish serving his lengthy suspension first.

Banished for the rest of the NHL regular season and the first round of playoffs after a vicious elbow to the jaw of New York Rangers rookie Ryan McDonagh, Cooke told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he’s ready to clean up his act.

“I realize and understand, more so now than ever, that I need to change,” Cooke said. “That’s what I wanted my message to be.”

Cooke, who has now been suspended five times for headshots or other questionable hits, insisted he wasn’t trying to hurt the Rangers defenceman.

“I don’t want to hurt anybody. That’s not my intention. I know that I can be better,” Cooke said. “I made a mistake, and I’m the one who’s accountable for that. And I take full responsibility for it.”


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