At least that is how he is perceived by many fans around the league... but not in Pittsburgh. To Penguins fans, Cooke is a hard charging, energy player that can do it all. He scores 15 goals per season, kills penalties as well as anyone, gets some power play time, is a furious fore and back-checker, will sacrifice his body to block shots, throw a few hits; and, on occasion, maybe kinda-sorta will cross the line on a blind side hit in the heat of the moment.
Today, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported:
Left winger Matt Cooke has agreed to a three-year contract with the Penguins.It appears that Penguins management views Cooke much like their fanbase does. The Pittsburgh front office stated that Cooke was a priority re-signing for them and they treated it that way. Thusfar, he is the first of the Penguins' roster players to agree to a new deal.
His annual salary-cap hit will be $1.8 million.
Cooke, a fixture on the Penguins' third line and their penalty-killing unit, would have become an unrestricted free agent if not re-signed by July 1.
Crosby may have been a driving force to get this deal done. I can't imaging how Mario Lemieux would react to seeing his franchise lying on the ice after Matt Cooke of the Columbus Blue Jackets just nailed him along the dasher...