One of the most controversial players in the National Hockey League has found himself a new place to agitate and kill penalties. The Minnesota Wild and Matt Cooke have agreed to terms on a three-year contract, according to Mike Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Cooke agreed to a three-year, $7.5 million deal. The contract carries an average annual value of $2.5 million against the salary cap, also according to Russo.
The 34-year-old Cooke became expendable due to the Penguins' other summer activities. They signed Kris Letang to a long term, big-money extension and signed unrestricted free agent Rob Scuderi to a fairly sizable contract. With the cap going down this season, there was no room for a player like Cooke, who isn't a top-six forward and is also getting up there in age.
Cooke, who became known more for his big, borderline legal (and often flat-out illegal) checks, has changed his game somewhat in the past few years, becoming more of a two-way player. He's acknowledged as one of the better penalty killing forwards in the sport. The 144th overall pick of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Cooke has 153 career goals and 360 points in 935 NHL games. He won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009.