We all saw the headline and felt sorry for the guy: Andrew Cogliano suspended 2 games, snapping his ironman streak at 830, ending the fourth-longest consecutive games streak in NHL history.
Cogliano was suspended for an interference penalty against Los Angeles forward Adrian Kempe on Saturday night in the Ducks' 4-2 victory. Cogliano hit Kempe after the Kings player released the puck, and was assessed a minor penalty for interference.
A decision that has outraged fans, general managers and rival players across the board in the NHL. NHL insider Elliotte Friedman explains in his latest 31 Thoughts on Sportsnet that he has received many complaints from players.
“It’s been years since I’ve received this many texts from players…" he said last night.
"That was newsworthy — I’ve never seen such forceful argument against a suspension for a headshot. (Tie Domi, Dave Gagner and Teemu Selanne were among those who tweeted public support.) Obviously, GM Bob Murray and the Ducks backed him all the way, but, apparently, others who reached out to him included Dan Cleary, Sam Gagner, Shawn Horcoff, Saku Koivu and Jason Spezza," Friedman writes.
Doug Jarvis holds the record of 964. Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle takes over the NHL's longest active streak at 676.
Suspended by his old roommate and friend
Cogliano was suspended by his former teammate and roommate George Parros, who reportedly struggled with the decision of the verdict.
"I don’t think this was easy for him; in fact, I heard he agonized about it. A couple people asked if I thought he went harder on Cogliano to prove there was no bias. Parros wouldn’t comment further, as the NHL feels the suspension video should be the only comment on the matter," Friedman adds.
"In addition to the lateness of the hit, what elevates this check to merit supplemental discipline is the substantial head contact and the significant force," the NHL said in its explanation video.
Cogliano did argue in his hearing that he "was skating parallel to Kempe, not blindsiding him, and Kempe tried to avoid the interference, which bridged the gap, so there was no lunging."
Emotional interview following the suspension
Cogliano was interviewed about the news and while at first he seemed to be handling things pretty well, when the fact that his streak was ended was brought up he lost control of his emotions.
It was very clear that Cogliano, who has never been known as a dirty player, took great pride in both playing the game as a professional as well as the fact that he has not missed a single game for over 830 consecutive contests.
"Cogliano was emotional discussing it with Fox’s Kent French, which was something to watch considering he tried to downplay things whenever previously asked by reporters. One player, watching the interview, said he believed Cogliano teared up thinking of all the injuries he did play through, only to see it end this way," explains Friedman.