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Cooke unlikely to re-sign in Pittsburgh

Jul 4, 2013, 10:56 AM EDT

Matt Cooke AP

Matt Cooke‘s days as a Penguin could be numbered.

With the start of free agency just a day away, it appears Cooke — who has been with the Pittsburgh organization since 2008 — isn’t close to a new deal.

As such, he’s primed to hit the open market and, according to Pens GM Ray Shero, it’s tough to see the veteran winger coming back if that happens.

“Most guys, if they get [to unrestricted free agency], there’s more money, or they want a change,” Shero told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Cooke, 34, has enjoyed a career revival in Pittsburgh.

After a number of violent on-ice incidents — the Marc Savard hit and two suspensions in 2011, including the entire opening playoff round — Cooke vowed to change his game and did exactly that during the 2011-12 season.

He went incident-free, racked up just 44 PIM (he had 129 the year prior) and, perhaps most impressively, scored a career-high 19 goals — all at the age of 33.

As such, Cooke will probably garner considerable interest on the open market, even with his spotty history.

Shero said he spoke with Cooke’s agent, Pat Morris, a few weeks ago to exchange ideas about a new deal.

Problem is, the Pens don’t have a ton of space under the salary cap — approximately $4 million — a number expected to change with the qualifying offers out to defenseman Roberto Bortuzzo and forwards Dustin Jeffrey and Harry Zolnierczyk.

Shero also told the Post-Gazette he expected Cooke to “go out, look around, and see what’s there,” in free agency.

  1. killerpgh - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    It was being reported that Cooke was only asking for a 3 year/3.6 million dollar contract (1.2 cap hit) from the Penguins. If thats all he was looking for it’s hard to figure why he wouldn’t of been resigned.

    • beergold - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      Because he is a pric* and even his current teammates don’t want him in the dressing room!
      If they did an offer WOULD have been made!

      • pens5829 - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        Right moron.

    • mrpinkca - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      30 million in salary cap spent on 4 players tends to make your depth suffer.

      If that’s the price some GM is going to look like a genius for signing him.

    • dueman - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      If that’s true about him asking for 1.3 million, I would love for Toronto to sign him. He would add more grit, plus another scoring threat, and it would really piss off Ottawa. lol

  2. pensman29 - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Ya that is weird. But wherever he goes. A fan base is gonna have to change their thought of thinking about him. Like raffi Torres in San Jose

  3. jesse716 - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Unfortunate, one of the Pens best players in this year’s postseason

  4. travishenryskid - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Dirtiest player in the game, but I’d rather have him on my team than another.

    • pens5829 - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      You’re either a Senators fan, or another idiot who hasn’t watched him play the last two years. Guys like Marchand are just as bad, if not worse. They cheapshot then run.

      • alswingman - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        Marchand does not focus his game on injuring other players. That is what Cooke’s game is all about. What has kept him in the NHL is the guy contributes points. Matchand is a talent several levels above Cooke,

    • micklethepickle - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      Of course, because if he’s not on your favorite team, it’s likely he’ll be working hard every shift…. to end the careers of your favorite team’s stars. Hope Cooke never plays another minute in the NHL, and that some AHL bruiser gives him the Savard treatment.

  5. malkinrulez - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Watch the fans change their tune on Cooke. It appears Pens are having Harry Z take over Cookes role.

  6. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Pens can afford to let him go. He is 33, and won’t get better. If anything he will soon be on the decline. Pens can use the cap space to develop their younger players.

  7. Habib Marwan - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    CSI Ottawa will be all over this

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 4, 2013 at 7:30 PM

      Youtube ‘CSI Pittsburgh.’ Funny stuff.

  8. pensman29 - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Guys can Harry z actually develop into a top 9 maybe even top 6 forward. I haven’t heard anything about him.

    • killerpgh - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      He will never deserve to be in the top 6. He was drafted in 7 years ago so I wouldn’t expect him to develop much more than what he is. Right now he is a 4th liner/healthy scratch/AHL type of player.

  9. sjsharks66 - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Cooke’s PK skill is amazing! If the pens let Cooke and Adams go, they are shooting themselves in the foot.

  10. drone501 - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    going to miss himwhen he goes. brought a lot of grit to the team although not much of a fighter. as far as the headshots, he has to answer for that. pens will still be a favorite for the cup, as usual. maybe a curse.

  11. seabass231 - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    So the Pens are bringing back the entire underachieving team, with the exception of the one guy who played his heart out every shift…good call Ray. They should somehow figure out a way to give Fleury a raise.

  12. Habib Marwan - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Some (not all) of you Pens “fans” sound like ya’ll are ready to give up on your team. The playoffs are a crapshoot , anything can happen if you’re not playing your “A” game and even when you do play your “A” game, flukey things go on all the time. in a series… you guys have a solid team with a core thats staying assembled for years to come … relax already and let your good GM steer this ship .

  13. puckyouall - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Watch now how the multitude of Matt Cooke haters will become Matt Cooke lovers, especially if their team picks him up. Typical hockey fans, talk out of both sides of your mouths. Remember: “One team’s Goon is another team’s Treasure.”
    Live long and prosper Matt Cooke, Pens fans will miss you.
    Now please read my name to yourself at the end of this comment and remember that a “p” can sometimes have an “f” sound. :)

  14. modellforprez - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Cookie will always have a place to play in ottawa and boston. Chiarelli should sign him or the Sens. he would be great with either teams resident dirtbags Either Chrissy Neal or chump Marchand

  15. slysipops - Jul 4, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    he could join the homeless guys who will fill the roster with the PENS core 5 !

  16. ironman721 - Jul 4, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Never liked the guy anyway.

  17. bosoxfanpeds - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Remember the days playing at Yankee Stadium and the knuckleheads throwing batteries at our Red Sox Players….could you just see the Bruins bringing in Cooke and in the very first game at home some Yankee Fan takes him out with a battery….Never playing in the NHL again……When the Sox are out of the playoffs and the Yanks are still in….I root for them…..Does that make me a bad person????

  18. chanceoffleury1 - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    Bittersweet. He single handily killed a few penalties during this year’s playoffs and had some pretty great games for the Pens during their run. But he’s getting old and his reputation will always precede him. The Pens need to make some changes and shake up their locker room at least a little. Hopefully he signs in the west. Not looking forward to the Pens playing him on any sort of regular basis.

  19. blackhawks2010 - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Cooke is a player everyone hates, until he plays for your team. Am I right?

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