The Penguins have signed Capitals agitator Matt Cooke to a two-year deal worth $1.2 million per season.
Cooke is an agiator in the mold of Sean Avery, Jarkko Ruutu or Steve Ott. In addition to that "skill" he's also a fairly decent penalty killer.
Cooke spent the bulk of his NHL career in Vancouver where he played from 1999 until 2008. At this past season's trade deadline, he was dealt to the Washington Capitals and helped them clinch their first playoff berth since 2003.
EN Says: Nice signing. He's an energy type of player who will get under the skin of opposing players by getting physical with them. Cooke will go into the corners with the big defensemen in this conference like Zdeno Chara and Andy Sutton. He helps replace some of the toughness the Penguins have lost in free agency That said, his playing style and his lack of size (5-foot-11, 205 pounds) can leave him a little dinged up from time to time.
Cooke can rack up some decent point totals as well. He's failed to reach double-digit figures in goals only twice in his his nine seasons in the NHL.
While Cooke doesn't offer the basic simple pleasure of yelling "RUUUUUUUUU!!!!" everytime he does something during a game, you will learn to love watching this guy play like you did with Jarkko Ruutu if you're a Penguins fan.
A few of Cooke's highlights:
Losing a fight to former Penguin Ryan Malone last season:
Running into St. Louis goaltender Curtis Sanford and goading former Blues defenseman Eric Brewer into a penalty during the 2006-07 season:
Punching WIld goon Derek Boogaard on the bench and taking a stupid penalty:
Digging some AC/DC:
Scoring a goal with 5.7 seconds left in regulation to send Game 7 of the Canucks first-round series with the Flames in 2004 to overtime:
Scoring an overtime goal against the Oilers in a regular season game n 2006-07:
Cooke and new Penguins enforcer Eric Godard getting into it:
Cooke tagging Flames captain Jarome Iginla:
Running over Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf:
(Photo: Washington Post)