WASHINGTON – The way Erik Karlsson sees it, yesterday’s gone.
For him, the nasty, ugly incident which resulted in Matt Cooke slicing his Achilles last season – the one year anniversary is on Feb. 13 – is in the rear-view mirror. As unfortunate as the event was, the Senators star defenceman has no interest in dwelling on the past.
At the same time, he respects the passion of Senators owner Eugene Melnyk in trying to prove that Cooke — then playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins, but now playing for the Minnesota Wild – deliberately attempted to injure Karlsson. Melnyk and Senators general manager Bryan Murray met with NHL brass in New York Monday, discussing the research Melnyk commissioned to look into the incident.
“It’s not something that I’m personally involved in or put any focus on, but he’s a very emotional guy and he cares about this team deeply and he has always had our backs,” Karlsson said before Tuesday’s game here against the Washington Capitals.
“If that’s something he wants to do, that’s totally up to him, but it’s not something I’m involved in.”
Karlsson, who had 11 goals and 35 assists to lead the Senators in scoring before the game against the Capitals, has been a dominant player at times this season, but has also made costly defensive mistakes.
At the time of the injury, it could be argued that he was the league’s best player.
Again, though, he’s not interested in looking back.
“It’s almost a year now, so I can’t think about that stuff anymore,” he said. “It’s done and it happened and it’s always going to be a part of me, but it’s not something that I really think about any more or something I really want to have in my head.
“We play a sport where injuries happen and if I could go my entire career without an injury, I would be the luckiest guy alive, probably.”
Karlsson says Melnyk’s involvement is welcome.
“It’s totally his own choice and if he wants to do it, that’s fine. He cares about this team and he cares about his players, so that’s something we respect him for.”