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Penguins forward Matt Cooke is suspended for the rest of the regular season and the opening round of the playoffs. ((Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) )

Suspended Pittsburgh Penguins agitator Matt Cooke sees the error in his ways.

"I realize and understand — more so now than ever — that I need to change," Cooke told Pittsburgh reporters Monday night. "That's what I wanted my message to be."

Cooke was banned for the rest of the regular season and first round of the playoffs for elbowing Rangers defenceman Ryan McDonagh in the head.

Pittsburgh has 10 games remaining in the regular season so the suspension will be a minimum of 14 games.

Cooke will forfeit $219,512.20 US in salary.

"I'm fortunate that Ryan McDonagh wasn't hurt," Cooke said. "I don't want to hurt anybody.

"That's not my intention. I know that I can be better.

"I made a mistake and I'm the one who's accountable for that. And I take full responsibility for it."

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, quoting Penguins general manager Ray Shero, said Cooke had sent McDonagh a text message.

Cooke said he had apologized to the team and Penguins organization.

"My actions will speak louder than words," he said. "That's what matters most."