View Full Version : Matt Cooke agrees to three-year deal with Penguins

06-22-2010, 10:26 AM
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Cooke agrees to three-year deal with Penguins
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Last updated: 7:25 am

"C" is for contract and the Cookie Monster is staying in Pittsburgh.

Left wing Matt Cooke has reached a verbal agreement on a three-year contract with the Penguins. Term was agreed upon Monday night and the contract has been sent to NHL central registry to be made official.

Financial terms were not immediately known, but Cooke is one of the rare plus-30 players to re-sign with the Penguins on a multi-year deal since Shero was named to his post in May 2006.

Cooke, 31, was one of eight Penguins eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Finding a resolution with him and defenseman Sergei Gonchar, 36, were the top offseason priorities of Penguins general manager Ray Shero.

Cooke originally signed with the Penguins in July 2008. In two seasons he scored 28 goals and recorded 61 points, and he became a staple on "The Nightmare Line" with center Jordan Staal and right wing Tyler Kennedy.

Controversial for his penchant to push the envelope with his gritty and abrasive style, Cooke turned in arguably his most impactful season last year with 15 goals, 30 points and a plus-17 rating. He added four playoff goals...three more than he produced on the Penguins run to the Stanley Cup in 2009.

His role on the Penguins changed with the hiring of coach Dan Bylsma in February 2009. Bylsma inserted Cooke onto the penalty kill, and that added responsibility sparked a level of consistency to his performance. He has scored 20 goals and recorded 46 points to go with a plus-22 rating in 104 regular-season games he played under Bylsma.

Cooke gained notoriety March 7 with his open-ice hit on Boston Bruins center Marc Savard. Not penalized because the hit was legal, Cooke and the hit were criticized because of the result. Savard was carried from the Mellon Arena ice on a stretcher. He did not play until the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs because of a concussion.

Cooke was not suspended for the hit, but league general managers drafted a new rule aimed at removing head shots from the game later in the month.

Cooke had stated his preference was to remain with the Penguins, with whom he had become a trusted dressing-room voice. His salary-cap hit was $1.2 million the last two seasons.

Unclear is how his re-singing will impact negotiations between Shero and Gonchar's agent, JP Barry. The Gonchar camp was awaiting word from Shero on a submitted proposal, and Barry said Monday he hoped to speak with Shero midweek or at the NHL draft this weekend in Los Angeles.

Gonchar is seeking a multi-year contract and has not publicly expressed an eagerness to take less than market value to remain with the Penguins, who expect to be tight against the salary cap entering next season.


06-22-2010, 04:10 PM
The numbers weren't available in the earlier report, but now they have been made public (3 years, $5.4 million).

Matt gets a 50% increase in annual salary, getting bumped from $1.2 million per year to $1.8 million per year. Cooke might have been able to double his salary on the open market, though, so it was smart to get this done now. Great deal for the Pens!

Penguins Sign Forward Matt Cooke To A Three-Year Contract
Tuesday, 06.22.2010 / 3:40 PM

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Matt Cooke to a three-year contract extension, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.

The new contract goes into effect at the start of the 2010-11 season and will run through 2012-13. The average annual value of the deal is $1.8 million over the term of the contract.

Cooke, 31, has played the last two seasons with the Penguins. In that span, the gritty forward has compiled 28 goals, 33 assists, 61 points, a plus-17 rating and 207 penalty minutes in 155 games, as well as a Stanley Cup championship.

Cooke (5-foot-11, 205 pounds) tied a career high with 15 goals and recorded 30 points for the fifth time in his career in 2009-10. Cooke, who is also a key contributor to the Penguins’ penalty killing units, finished second on the team with a plus-17 rating and fourth with 183 hits. He added six points (4G-2A) in 13 postseason games.

Cooke joined Pittsburgh after signing as an unrestricted free agent July 5, 2008. In his first campaign with Pittsburgh in 2008-09, the Belleville, Ontario native posted 13 goals, 31 points and 101 penalty minutes in 76 games. He chipped in seven points (1G-6A) in the playoffs and played a key defensive role against the opposing teams’ top line to help the Penguins win their third Stanley Cup title in franchise history.

Cooke, who broke into the league with Vancouver in 1999-2000, has totaled 114 goals, 271 points, 859 penalty minutes and a plus-36 rating in his 11-year career with stints in Vancouver, Washington and Pittsburgh.


06-22-2010, 04:24 PM
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