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Pittsburgh Penguins sign Matt Cooke

Matt Cooke - you know him?  Meh, probably not. 

Well get to know him.  He played on the Canucks and Capitals last year but will spend the next two years in the black and gold.

2007-2008 stats

Matt Cooke
78 10 13 23 91

From what I've read on the guy, Matt Cooke is a power plays worst nightmare.  I mean that from a defensive perspective.  Kris Beech is most likely a Penguins' power-play nightmare.

Anyways, Matt Cooke - consider him another Pascal Dupuis.  A utility guy who will kill penalties with ease, toss up a few clutch points here and there and just really make his presence known on the ice.  He's a left winger, so that'll most likely fill the spot left behind by either Ruutu or Malone, depending on how Therrien chooses to use him.

If I had to guess, expect him on the third line.  He's an agitator - he gets under your skin.  If Cooke does his job effectively out there on the ice, then he will just as easily sit on the bench because the power play will go to work.  In other words, Cooke will draw the calls. 

Last year Cooke started the season with Vancouver and ended in a lackadaisical effort with Washington.  It seems that similar to Gary Roberts, Matt Cooke just couldn't shake the recurring lower body injuries during the playoffs last year.  While the end of the '06/'07 season was marred with injuries, Cooke maintained a relatively healthy status for all but four games in 2007/2008.  Yet for some reason, people (as in 'experts') say he is injury prone.

The deal is two years, $2.4 million.  That just about spends every last penny the Penguins had to work with.  From hereon in, if the Pens hope to add anyone else to their corps, then they'll have to free up space to do so.