SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed free-agent forward Matt Cooke to a three-year contract.
Cooke, 34 (9/7/78), tallied 21 points (8-13=21) and 36 penalty minutes (PIM) in 48 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. He led team forwards with 41 blocked shots, ranked second among team forwards in shorthanded minutes per game at 2:11, ranked fifth on Pittsburgh with 97 hits and won the team’s Edward J. DeBartolo “Community Service” Award for his time and effort working on community and charity projects. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound native of Belleville, Ont., added four assists, 35 PIM and led the Penguins with 63 hits in 15 playoff contests.
In 2011-12, Cooke recorded 38 points (19-19=38) and 44 PIM in 82 contests and was named the Penguin’s nominee for the 2012 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. He set career highs in goals and shots (147), tied his career high with four game-winning goals and posted the second-best point total of his career.
He has notched 360 points (153-207=360), 1,068 PIM and a plus-53 rating in 935 career NHL games during 14 seasons with Vancouver, Washington and Pittsburgh. He won a Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009 and has reached double digits in goals 10 times in his career. Since 2005-06, Cooke ranks ninth in the NHL with 1,430 hits. He has recorded 33 points (13-20=33) and 129 PIM in 97 career playoff games. Cooke represented Canada at the 2004 World Championship and the 1998 World Junior Championship. He was originally selected by Vancouver in the sixth-round (144th overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.
Matt and his wife, Michelle, established The Cooke Family Foundation of Hope as a non-profit foundation in 2006. The Foundation provides opportunities and assistance to registered charity organizations within Canada. The Foundation’s efforts focus on those organizations that provide assistance to individuals faced with health, financial and emotional life challenges.