The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Matt Cooke to a two-year contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.
Cooke, 29, collected 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in 78 games last season between the Washington Capitals and the Vancouver Canucks. He was acquired by the Capitals at the trade deadline after playing eight and a half seasons in Vancouver. Cooke ranked 14th in the league with 198 hits during the regular season and tied a career-high with three points (one goal, two assists) on March 3rd vs. Boston.
"Matt is a versatile forward that will bring grit, energy and experience to our line-up," Shero said. "He is the type of player that adds depth upfront and is capable of providing offense for our hockey club.”
Cooke posted highs in all offensive categories during the 2002-03 season; goals (15), assists (27), points (42), while registering a plus-21 rating overall. He has notched 10-or-more goals in six of his 11 NHL seasons and collected 20-or-more assists on three occasions. Cooke played for Team Canada during the 2004 World Championships and was a member of the 1998 Canadian World Junior team.
The 5-11, 205-pound native of Belleville, Ontario has played 583 career games, registering 210 points (86 goals, 124 assists) and 652 penalty minutes. He has also appeared in 39 playoff games, recording 12 points (eight goals, four assists). Cooke was originally drafted by Vancouver in the sixth round, 144th overall, in the 1997 NHL Draft.