Here on July 5th, 2013, Matt Cooke has signed with the Minnesota Wild for 3 years for $7.5 million total. Cooke was a crowd favorite here in Pittsburgh with his physical play and grittiness. Cooke didn't contribute much point wise, but was never afraid to get physical with opposing players. Mostly known for his controversial hit on Marc Savard, Cooke wasn't well liked by opposing fans and players as you could imagine. Now that he has departed Pittsburgh for Minnesota, he is one less reason for opposing teams and fans to hate the Pens. Of course you all know the large amount of hate the Pens receive will never go away as long as the greatest current hockey player in the world (Crosby) plays for Pittsburgh, which is a small token to pay for the skill and success he brings this organization. However losing Cooke is not all a bad thing when you look at it. Of course he will be missed by many, his hard checks and grittiness is something that at times gave the Pens momentum. But his many unnecessary penalties at times will not be missed. Cooke is an old fashioned hockey player playing in a new generation of hockey. The old league does not exist anymore, certain forms of physical play is frowned upon now, when in the past, it would have been welcomed. Instead Cooke's style of play is often labeled as cheap and dirty, when in fact he's just playing the type of hockey he grew up watching and loving. But after many penalties and suspensions, he did adjust his play. His past 2 seasons has proven it, less penalties, more points and goals. Cooke scored a career high 19 goals in the 2011-12 season, while also drastically decreasing his penalty minutes to just 44 after having a career high 129 the season before. So maybe he's not the heartless goon other NHL fans have claimed him to be, Minnesota has certainly taken notice of his new play of lately and will be lucky to have him. I personally will miss Cooke, he was entertaining to watch on the ice, wasn't afraid to get to the dirty areas. He frustrated me at times when he took stupid penalties, but what Pens fan didnt he? In the end Cooke's uplifting checks will be missed, but his penalties will not be. Thanks for the great times Cooke, and good luck in Minnesota.