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Minnesota columnist: ‘Cooke is a cheap-shot artist’

Jul 8, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Matt Cooke Getty Images

Wild fans are a bit restless these days.

Minnesota lost longtime forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard to the Islanders in free agency and shipped out Devin Setoguchi to Winnipeg, they’ve also added noted controversy lightning rod Matt Cooke to a three-year deal.

The latter move doesn’t exactly sit well with one Minnesota columnist.

Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune laced into the Wild for signing Cooke and comparing him to former goon Chris Simon. One excerpt from his column is particularly pointed.

Cooke is a cheap-shot artist. He is a dirty player. He’s a better player than Simon was, and he’s better than [Zenon] Konopka, and he might be better than the outgoing Cal Clutterbuck, but the acquisition hints of desperation. To quell fan backlash, Cooke will have to play well enough to allow Fletcher to quote the proverb, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” which, translated into hockey talk, is “Crosschecking someone from Vancouver is better than crosschecking someone for Vancouver.”

So much for “Minnesota nice.”

For what it’s worth, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher defended the signing saying Cooke has “really evolved” having not been suspended for the past two seasons. That’s not doing much to calm down the fans who may have been hoping a different move was on the way.

  1. lordstanley65 - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Nice! Not everyone up there is wearing blinders over this hack.

    • doubles22 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      ‘Cooke is a cheap shot artist’

      In other news, the sun was found to have risen in the east today. Water confirmed as wet.

    • hockey412 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      He may be a hack, but also a good hockey player. I’m not even about to defend any actions from the past, but I do respect what he brings to the table when he plays the game the right way. I only hope all the progress he made toward doing so in Pittsburgh isn’t gone when he puts on another jersey for a team that may not have the same philosophy. But Yeo is a Burgh boy and can handle Cooke.

      Best of luck to you, Cooke – as a Pens fan I’m glad we don’t have to listen to any more b*tching from hypocritical fans of other teams, but wish you the best.

      • gallyhatch - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:47 PM

        I love when Penguins fans cry about hypocrisy from other fanbases / franchises.

        To say it’s redundant doesn’t do the situation justice.

      • hockey412 - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        I love when Pens haters cry about Pens fans crying about other fan bases hypocrisy.

        To say it’s redundant doesn’t do the situation justice.

        But evidently we’ll keep doing it.

      • gallyhatch - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        I like it even more when 412 gives a thumbs up to his own posts.

      • hockey412 - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        Gallyhatch, do you actually have something to say about the article, or are you just being a pest/troll/dumbass that likes to try and earn ‘thumbs up’ by commenting on other commenters? Seems idiotic to me – but I’ve seen a lot of idiots on here. Actually I think most of your posts are idiotic, you fit the mold. I haven’t been back to the page you are referring, feel free to shut the eff up.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        How do you respect a guy who has purposely tried to ruin people’s careers?

      • hockey412 - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        See this is where people tend to annoy the ever-loving sh*t out of me. We all get SO holier-than-thou about these athletes. But please refer me to your proof that Cooke tried to ruin someone else’s career. Now tell me how Chara was NOT trying to end Pacioretty’s career by damn near killing him…and tell me that people don’t respect Chara (no, I’m not a Habs fan). Cooke has played dirty, as MANY, MANY athletes do – most of us have seen some of the best in this league act like Cooke on his worst day. But bandwagoning is what it is, and people need a villain in order to cheer for their hero’s…especially when they are fully aware their hero’s are capable of the same madness. I do not respect Cooke’s dirty hits, any more than I respect any other players. But I do respect him being man enough to face the music he composed and try to change.

        Also, let’s not be stupid. There is a reason guys like Cooke/Torres/Rinaldo/etc get jobs…and sometimes high paying ones. Normally it’s the teams that have to protect their stars that sign them (that lack an enforcer presence). Because if they didn’t, your heros would be ending the careers of their stars (i.e. see Lucic hit on Miller before Scott was signed…and then watch Lucic be on his best behavior when Scott WAS signed). It’s a rough world…and then there’s hockey.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jul 8, 2013 at 8:54 PM

        Checking a player into the stanchion is something guys try to do from the moment they start hitting each other.

        Deliberately targeting the head of an opponent is ridiculous and sure, it will always be in the game but I’m not going to respect that player. Would I prefer it be out of the game, sure but there’s always that guy on the ice at every level.

        There’s a difference between being a douchebag like Lucic or Shaw or Avery and being someone who tries to hurt people.

      • hockey412 - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:58 AM

        I can’t argue with your comments, becuase I disagree with literally every single word you said, and I think you’ve proven my point instead of arguing against it. There is NO difference between cooke’s play and the others listed. Giroux took a run at Zubrus head in the playoffs…that makes him a hero to you because it’s Giroux…it’s not like Cooke’s hit. I realize you didn’t say anything specifically about Giroux, it’s just that you are coming out very hypocritical – as a fan that needs that evil guy in the game to make his favorite players look ‘ok’.

      • pourman - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:11 PM

        Youns suck

      • hockey412 - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:59 AM

        It’s “Yinz”. Jag.

      • gallyhatch - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:16 PM

        “We all get SO holier-than-thou about these athletes. But please refer me to your proof that Cooke tried to ruin someone else’s career. Now tell me how Chara was NOT trying to end Pacioretty’s career by damn near killing him…and tell me that people don’t respect Chara (no, I’m not a Habs fan). Cooke has played dirty, as MANY, MANY athletes do – most of us have seen some of the best in this league act like Cooke on his worst day”

        You’re brilliant 412, you’ve really become one of my favorites on here.

        If Chara is such a goon, why doesn’t he have a history of suspensions like Cooke? How many suspensions does he even have? (One by my count, a long time ago. . . correct me if I’m wrong)

        What does Chara even have to do with this conversation? Is that your way of pointing out more of this hypocrisy you blather on about incessantly?

        You keep trying to stick up for Cooke by moaning about goon players on other teams (namely the one that swept your team out of the playoffs which is just poor form, and stinks of a sore loser) but it’s all just talking $hit and nothing more. No one on the Bruins has a disciplinary history like Matt Cooke has. It’s possible the entire team combined doesn’t have the rap sheet that guy has.

        Cooke has earned his reputation, he deserves it. It doesn’t matter what he’s done or hasn’t done for the last two years. It doesn’t matter if he never lays a questionable hit on a person again, his reputation will follow him forever.

        Step outside of your Pittsburgh bubble for an hour and look at it from an unbiased point of view. You’ve been on an anti-Boston crusade ever since they swept your team out of the playoffs. It’s nothing but sour grapes, THAT is the reason why I troll your comments, smart guy.

        (p.s. if you knew half as much about hockey as you claim to, you wouldn’t even consider the notion of comparing players like Cooke & Chara – that’s my humble opinion)

      • hockey412 - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:09 AM

        You’re opinion isn’t “humble” – it’s just stupid. Fans on here go ON and ON and ON about how inconsistent suspensions and penalties are…and MOST of them (those with half a brain) will admit to the fact that 1) there is a reputation that preceeds certain players and plays into their discipline, and 2) there is favoritism exhibited on the ice…then you want to turn around and use # of suspensions as proof of who’s dirtier?

        But ALL of that is outside the fact – here’s where you went wrong in your response. I didn’t stick up for Cooke’s past, I didn’t stick up for his ‘dirty play’. I actually said I won’t miss his drama at some point. What I did say that he is a good hockey player when he plays the right way. I also said half the league is not as clean as they are given credit for. You are simply one of those fans that needs a villain, but please. Grow up. If you need “good guys” and “bad guys” then please watch pro wrestling. I agree that Cooke has earned his rep…I never said I didn’t. Cooke’s made some bad plays – but the fact that you can 1) deny Cooke is a good player when he’s on the straight and narrow, and 2) that every other player is innocent comparitively, just proves my point about the hypocritical, short-sighted, holier-than-thou, homerish nature of hockey fans. One gentleman even said Chara’s hit on Pacioretty was clean because that’s what they’re taught to do. That hit was dirtier than ANYTHING Cooke OR Torres ever did…much more intentional, malicious, and dangerous. But you don’t see it that way, I know. Because we’re talking about Cooke, and Torres. I have hated Boston for a long, long time – nothing to do with the playoffs, actually I like the way they played against the pens. Against ANY other team, it’s nothing but punches thrown, illegal hits, running goalies, and going after heads, and it’s always uncalled…it’s as dirty as ANY team in the league. But those feelings have nothing to do with Cooke…smart guy.

      • hockey412 - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:16 AM

        Also – your refusal to believe that other good players in the league play dirty or have taken cheap shots, and your refusal to believe that Cooke is a good player, when he ISN’T playing dirty, or taking cheap shots, illustrates the hypocrisy that I’m talking about incessantly, yes. I think it’s low-lying fruit for you – I firmly believe that you don’t have any strong feelings about Cooke, I think you just need approval. Since a lot of people dislike Cooke, you feel like you have the opportunity to get approval, or to feel important. But you aren’t. You’re just a hypocritical fool. Until you earn $2.5M at your craft, Cooke has you beat.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:50 AM

        I’d have to agree with all the comments you’ve made thus far. Plus, as noted elsewhere on PHT, so many players have been victim of cheapshots, but did anyone stand up for Pville or Zucker? Not to my knowledge. Folks whine about Buttercup being sent off to the Isles, but if it’s Cal or Cooke, I’d take Cooke any day. The Wild need some sandpaper to throw the other teams off their game. We tried with Scott, Clutterbuck, Staubitz and Powe, but it wasn’t enough. We’ve had some success with Konopka and Rupper, and now by adding Cooke to the mix, we now have some skill and Stanley Cup experience (people always seem to forget that last part too).

        tl;dr I agree with your points.

      • gallyhatch - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:24 AM

        Wow… backpedal much?

      • hockey412 - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:53 AM

        I didn’t backpedal at all, you twit. Read the first post with both eyes and you’ll see it.

      • gallyhatch - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:19 PM

        So, let me get this straight, you agree he’s earned his reputation, but my opinion of him is invalid because I need a villain? What is this, Unbreakable? Contradict yourself much? He’s either earned his reputation or it’s undeserved, you can’t have both.

        When did I deny his skills as a player? You imagined that. I may have said he’s a scumbag, but I never once said Minnesota was getting a lousy player. You’re arguing against things that you are making up in your mind. He’s a tremendous player when he’s playing clean, and he’s still an effective player when he’s taking cheap shots, too, he’s just that much dirtier. Like you said, there’s a reason he’s employed. One Minnesota fan hit the nail on the head, the Wild will have a presence on the ice, let’s see if he keeps his head screwed on straight.

        I never said the Bruins are angels & always play clean, Lucic & Marchand have earned their reputations like Cooke has earned his. (funny though, it’s only the fans of teams the Bruins beat that continue to cry about that, I wonder why that is? No way that’s sour grapes, right compadre?)
        This is the first year I’ve actually cheered for Marchand, because he, like Cooke has turned a page. Whether or not they keep it up remains to be seen. You can to try put words in my mouth all you want, but at the end of the day they are still your words, not mine.

        Maybe I dislike Matt Cooke because I so desperately want approval from people on this website via thumbs up as you suggested (that was a good one too, you’re seeing right through me now), or maybe I hate Matt Cooke for being a dirty p.o.s. He’s earned that reputation, right? I know I’m being redundant here, but I’m trying to understand your point, because you’re kind of all over the road.

        Here’s the thing about Matt Cooke, he didn’t change his ways out of respect for the game, or out of fear of injuring someone and ending their career / livelihood. No, he changed his game around because he was going to get kicked out of the league if he didn’t make an earnest effort to change his ways. He changed his ways because his own career & livelihood were threatened. Not because he felt any sort of compassion for his fellow hockey players. I can’t say I blame him, but let’s call it what it is.
        I never said the rest of the players in the league are angels, but the fact is, most of them look pretty damn good when compared to Matt Cooke.

        But as you said, he’s just a victim of his reputation. Which he earned.

        Or he didn’t.

        Good talk.

      • hockey412 - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:38 AM

        Do you even have a clue what point you are arguing any more? My point was that Cooke is a good player when he plays clean. Also said he’s gotten his reputation fairly. Your original point was that he’s worse than other players. My point was that he is not worse. Any Boston fans that think Chara is clean have no right judging Matt Cooke, that’s for damn sure. But your own homerism leads you to think that guys like Lucic and Chara are ok, but Cooke is not. That is simply false. Those guys also haven’t ” felt any sort of compassion for his fellow hockey players”. But all this “you can’t have it both ways” garbage just makes you look like an ass, because I sure as HELL haven’t made any contradictory statements. It really hasn’t been a good talk, you argue like an idiot and must make up statements as you see fit. Matt Cooke is a good player, and is now being paid. Your opinion is originally that he’s garbage, which I argued with, then you admit “He’s a tremendous player when he’s playing clean”…but THAT WAS MY ORIGINAL POINT, YOU EFFING MORON.

        So, we agree, basically. Toodles. And for the love
        of all that is good and holy, just please shut the eff up.

      • hockey412 - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:43 AM

        And to your response about whether I said he earned his rep or not, yes, I’ve said that he earned his reputation but I think our argument is what that rep really is…my take on his rep is a good player that has trouble not crossing the line, you think his rep is that of a POS – THAT is where you are getting confused. He gets called for penalties due to that rep that preceeds him. So should Lucic – but the league is still a dirty place.

        Cooke has grown with the game. You say he’s a POS, but he wasn’t called for a penalty on his Savard hit…why? Because it was LEGAL. The game of hockey has grown. Cooke has grown with it. Rep? Sure, he’s got a rep, but to me there are a lot of others that would have that rep had they played through Cooke’s era. Some of the guys in this league STILL ram guys heads of stanchions, or run goalies…THOSE players need to be talked about as TODAY’S pieces of sh*t…not the Matt Cooke of yesteryear.

      • gallyhatch - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        “My point was that Cooke is a good player when he plays clean. Also said he’s gotten his reputation fairly. Your original point was that he’s worse than other players. My point was that he is not worse.”

        So which one is it, he’s gotten his reputation fairly, or he’s no worse than other players?

        It can’t be both.

        Yours is a contradictory statement. His reputation is either fair, or it’s unfair because he’s no worse than other players. Which one is it?

        You should really learn the definition of contradictory before you use the term.

        I like all the insults you use in your responses, and how you tell people to ‘shut the eff up’. Such debating skills (or lack thereof) speak volumes about you.

      • hockey412 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        Dude – 1) here’s an insult – you’re a dumb as*hole who has no clue when to STOP TALKING. I bet you are an absolutely hit with the ladies.

        2) Yes, I can have it both ways. You’re not even beginning to understand, and it’s been going on two days of me trying to explain it to you. I’m pretty sure I’ve been fairly clear, which leaves only one reason for your confusion…you’re an idiot.

        Cooke has made some rough, LEGAL at the time, plays. He has a reputation to cross the line, which he’s earned. He is NOT the only one that has crossed the line, year in, year out. Many people, especially Boston fans, need to be less hypocritical. Your players have their OWN reputations, which THEY’VE EARNED. HOW IS THAT CONTRADICTORY. You are incorporating your own bias into the argument…assuming that what I’m saying he’s earned is a reputation as the leagues worst…that is NOT what I’m saying. If I was, then yes, it would be contradictory. But I’m not…DO YOU GET IT? I’M TYPING VERY SLOW FOR YOU. Cooke’s reputation has earned him a lot of money… regardless of your butt-hurt opinion on him being the worst, he is simply NOT. Case closed.

        Anyway, you are hands-down the world’s most annoying person, ever. You were never even involved in the inital comment in the first place! You invited yourself into an argument for TWO DAYS and can’t let it go? Effing creeper. Now leave me alone and go pick up your room.

      • hockey412 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:26 PM

        Holy f9ck even RE-reading this last post cracks me up!

        “So which one is it, he’s gotten his reputation fairly, or he’s no worse than other players?

        It can’t be both.”

        ARE YOU KIDDING? Yes, it can, chump!

      • gallyhatch - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        When in doubt, call people names!

        Good work, good debating!!! (& I’m the idiot!)

        Enjoy your summer in Pittsburgh!!!

    • yougotgirouxed - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      Wow the standards are low. Since when does not getting suspended for two recent seasons make you a clean player?

      • hockey412 - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        Who called him a clean hockey player?

      • yougotgirouxed - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        “For what it’s worth, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher defended the signing saying Cooke has “really evolved” having not been suspended for the past two seasons.”

        Semantics

    • rsmaggiemae - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      I am from Minnesota and have season tickets for the Wild
      I know everyone is just hating this signing, but give the guy a chance to prove himself first before you hang him up to dry, he is a good hockey player, and just dont look at the hits he has had in the past.. The Wild do need someone like him on the team as think of how intimidating he will be on the ice for the opposing players it might create some chances to score which he can do…
      He is no different than Brown of the Kings or Subban of the Candadians
      and let me tell you what i did against Subban i noticed that when he hit players into the boards he was always lifting his right leg and the skate blade would go down on the achilles of the opposing player and he could have really injured someone this went on for a year, so I wrote 7 letters to the NHL to send to the Board of referess, and last year he was caught doing this and was fined 5 grand and I think 3 games suspension.
      I have watched hockey for over 40 years and for many of you that are younger, I suggest you look at Boston in the 70’s thier brutal team, but then the hits were not scrutinized like they are today, look at Schultz of the Flyers same thing…
      In the 60’s-70’s and 80’s hits were really bad, players were injured very severly then, many concussions but they did not know what it was at that time of the game,and the players were not scrutinized back then but should have been.
      just give this guy a chance and see what he can do… I really think he has changed his ways he will always be a hitter, and during one of his suspensions he watched tapes of what he was doing illegally and changed his ways and I am sure once in a while he may slip up.//

      How many of us have done some really stupid things in our lifetime and we had to make a change in our life… I know I had to…. and one of my stupid mistakes almost killed someone once in 1972 so I do know what I am talking about…
      Just be fair… Time will tell

      • northstarsmitty - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        well said rsmaggiemae! I mean we all loved Boogie, Scott, all those guys we signed under the much tougher Jacque Lemaire era. So why do we (mostly MN beat writers) start crying over a few tough guy signings like Cooke, Zenon? I think in MN particularly, a lot of young hockey fans are taking interest, never watching the team the past decade until now, and they only know to follow the trends of the public/community eye, same with the writers. This team could use an image rebrand. A bunch of clean shaven Parise’s wont do. We have our franchise players, build around them accordingly, even if it means adding some bruisers!

  2. micklethepickle - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Way to go Minnesota!!! Note to Pens’ fans: this is how a fanbase with standards, morals, and basic human decency acts. Take notes.

    • miketoasty - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      What, by signing a player that has spent his entire career as a cheap shot artist? So since one writer states the obvious, yet the GM and most of the media states that he’s changed, they have morals? Wait, that sounds like exactly what happened with the Penguins.

      I’m not saying I want the guy back, more than happy to have him have moved on, but no matter which team signed him, they had to know what they were getting into and would have said the same thing.

      • micklethepickle - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        Hey genius, did you notice that i said “FANBASE”, not “franchise”? Obviously the GM made the choice for the team, and now the people that follow the team are reacting to that choice. I’m not commenting on the Wild’s personnel choices, merely on the way that the fans of said team make their displeasure known… as opposed to embracing, defending, and encouraging a dirty player’s antics *cough PIT fans cough*

      • jpelle82 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:01 AM

        since when does a reporter trying to sell papers represent the “fanbase”? and for that matter, since when do you represent minnesota’s fanbase? i thought you were a boston fan…that wouldnt imply any bias at all would it? just using this as another excuse to take a shot at the penguins fans is pretty sad. its monday, dont you have some work to be doing?

      • miketoasty - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:05 AM

        Please show me where the fanbase disagree’s with the signing? The only reference to the fanbase in the article is that they are getting restless, which is understandable as the team moved a couple of long term Wild players this offseason.

      • micklethepickle - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:10 AM

        A Boston fan? Me? Nope. I happen to live in Boston at the moment, and the ugly racism, class segregation, and ignorance of this city has guaranteed I will never root for any of their sports teams, simply because of the type of people that DO root for them. I’ve said numerous times who my favorite teams are, you just don’t pay attention.

        And take a look at the other comments on here, or on the Trib’s web site. I’m not the only person commenting against that POS.

        Finally, me and toasty have already had a discussion about work; specifically about how like most Americans I could finish my day’s work in about 2 hours, which leaves me 6 hours to pretend like I’m busy while reading/commenting PHT. Or are you one of the 30% of Americans that is actually fulfilled and satisfied with their work? Lucky you.

      • jpelle82 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        i dont care about you posting about cooke, its pretty well known that people have good reason to dislike the man and my only concern is how the pens plan on replacing him on the pk. i have a problem with you calling out an entire fanbase and their moral compass. its like me saying all people from boston are drunk micks. you live there and would probably be ticked off by me lumping you in with the group you seem to hate yourself huh? i think you’re just trolling, your hate for the pens is ok but this article is about a reporter who wrote about his disapproval of the signing in minnesota. you used it as an excuse to project your hatred. i’m satisfied with my work by the way, i make commission and have my entire working life, its nice to me and i like it…some cant hack it. i get paid for how much i put in, if i feel like sitting around on pht on a monday morning, i can too, especially after i close a contract that can pay the bills for the rest of the week. i could go home or i can watch traffic drive by from my office window. maybe i’ll make a few more calls, send some emails and then go fishing. a slave i am not, so i consider myself blessed…not lucky.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        @ micklethepickle

        You mean the city with Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, BC and BU all within minutes is an ignorant city?
        Great point douchebag

      • micklethepickle - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        @hockeyflow33 – population of Greater Boston area: 7 million and change.
        Combined populations of BC/BU/Northeastern/MIT/Harvard: 94,000.

        So… yea. Even assuming that the elitist snobs that attend those schools actually learn something other than how to spend daddy’s trust fund, they account for a tiny, tiny percentage of the people giving Boston it’s very deserved reputation.

    • hockey412 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      You do realize that your ignorant, immature, and just plain dumb cheapshots taken at an entire fanbase of good, hardworking people basically makes you the “Matt Cooke” of commenters, right? You disgust me.

      • micklethepickle - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        Really? So you equate describing my experience living in a city where I’ve never committed any crimes, never hurt anyone else, where I work and pay my rent on time… in your mind, that = the exact same as a professional athlete viciously attacking other players and ending not just their ability to earn money for their families and play the game they love, but also essentially disabling them and shortening their lives? REALLY???

      • hockey412 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:53 AM

        You have some issues, aside from being an all-around horrible person and terd. That makes you like Matt Cooke. “Aggitating” people seems to fit you and your somewhat dim-witted view on things, which makes you just like Matt Cooke, and you also appear to have a problem NOT crossing the line of decency in dealing with other people who may not be as morally corrupt as yourself, which makes you like Matt Cooke. Face it, bozo…YOU are the Matt Cooke of PHT commenters…Micklethepickle = Matt Cooke.

        Also – please don’t lump Matt Cooke in a category by himself…he’s not all that different than a LOT of other players out there. My guess is he hurt someone who’s name and number you had ironed on to your underoos and you’re still set on convincing the world he’s the antichrist.

      • dboldave - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        I don’t know, maybe I’m just lucky but I’ve never seen the extreme racism that people say happens around here. What part of Boston are you living in? I’m in Lowell myself and I’d never say the people here are the most upstanding but I’ve also lived all over the country and honestly, it’s pretty much the same everywhere. Just my two cents.

      • micklethepickle - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        @hockey412 – FYI, one of my ‘issues’ is that I’m well educated, so for future reference:
        “terd” = turd
        “aggitating” = agitating
        “dim-witted” = dimwitted

        Ease up, internet tough guy. Name me another NHL player with Cooke’s record of year after year of dangerous play, and I’ll criticize them on every post I see. I’m an equal opportunity critic of douche-bags like Cooke.

        @dboldave – I work downtown, and live near Cambridge. Experienced military life for over a decade, meaning I’ve lived all over the USA, and I can tell you that I had never witnessed someone call a black man the “n-word” to his face (context – the black guy didn’t hold the door of a convenience store open for the white guy) until I moved to Boston. Also, this: http://gawker.com/5946312/the-most-racist-city-in-america-boston

      • hockey412 - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        Oh dear, I’m afraid I just didn’t think you were worthy of slowing down to proofread my post back to you – you’ll get the standard 10 second quick-type that comes with being the scum bag type that you are. Hockey really doesn’t need hypocritical fans like yourself. And “tough guy”, really? Wasn’t it you that tried to call out an entire fan base as if YOUR fan base is any better? To my knowledge Cook has never run a goalie causing a concussion, or slammed someone’s head into a stachion. Torres also is bad about it. Cooke has definitely taken some cheap shots….whether they were legal or not at the time requires some research (hint…most of them WERE), but there are a lot of cheap shots taken in the NHL. And, since you have been commenting, there have been a lot of cheap shots taken on PHT…you’re scum, and no better than Cooke. Go away, hack. Go troll some other article. Pittsburgh honestly couldn’t care less what you think, attention whore.

      • dboldave - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        Again, only going on personal experience and not what I’ve read in an article or online somewhere. I’ve seen racism but nothing that I haven’t seen or heard any more or less in any other part of the country.

        I don’t know why it bothers me as much as it does but I just hate when people talk about how racist the people are around Boston. Especially since most of the time it’s online from people who have never stepped foot into Massachusetts. Please let me know which state I should consider moving to where there is no bigotry and where everyone just gets along so well. I’d up and move in a heartbeat!

      • micklethepickle - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        @dboldave – the answer to your inquiry is “New Mexico”. Greatest people, places, and natural beauty in the nation; they don’t call it the Land of Enchantment for nothing. Unfortunately, it is also one of the poorest states in the nation… so you’d better have a tidy nest egg when you move there :(

      • itsallniceonice - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        Quoting Gawker? New Mexico has the greatest natural beauty in the nation? Pickle is a troll obviously.

    • matt14gg - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      None of what you said below is true. You live in Boston (which may or may not be true), and you have a preconceived ideology, so you take some isolated incident (which may or mat not be true) to claim Boston is a racist, classist city. Your ignorance and idiocy are stunning. You know nothing about Boston, but you think it sounds cool with your like minded friends to make stupid claims like this. Boston is one of the greatest, most integrated, most tolerant cities in the United States, but you take some silly incident (which may or may not be true) perpetrated by a moron who may or may not have even be from Boston, much like yourself, to label a whole city.

      You are the worst kind of ignorant moron. The kind who takes a single incident and stereotypes a whole city. So this is for you. This is the city of Boston I live in. Take a look if you dare. This is the Mission Hill section of Boston celebrating the night they caught the Boston Marathon Bomber. Notice people from ALL walks of life celebrating, together. This is the Boston I know. It’s easy to take a single isolated incident and make it fit your narrative, because you are narrow minded and believe what makes you feel good instead of what is reality

      I recommend anyone watch this. It is very moving and has a cool soundtrack. And for you Mickle, go F— yourself!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oAf1RdurYs

  3. lonespeed - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    There is no way I would ever want that guy on my team. I include him in the same bucket with Sean Avery. If that’s what it takes to win, then no thanks.

    • mdover95 - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      …and therein lies the problem. Hell, any team of any sport (or so it seems) would sign Adolf Hitler as coach if they thought it would get them to win because that’s all they care about. I KNOW it’s not like that all over, but ask Marc Savard if he thinks Cooke should still be playing. Ask Steve Moore if Todd Bertuzzi should still be playing….
      There ARE classy teams out there, but it just seems like the majority do not care who they sign as long as they win.
      And what else grinds my gears (apologies to “Family Guy”) is that Team A plays Team B who has a dirty player….Team A hates him. The next season the dirty player signs with Team B and then they love him because he’s on their team.
      Pretty damn hypocritical if you ask me.
      Cooke SEEMS to have cleaned up his act, but we will not know for sure until he retires.

  4. zwilhelm16 - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Yes he is!

  5. redridershoottheireyeout - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Is Fletcher related to Cliff “pull my Finger” Fletcher? Because IMHO this ranks with one of the worst deals since that debacle in Toronto and I can’t agree more strongly with the writer for being upset with the Wild.
    Now if we could just get someone just as stupid to take Kaleta off our hands in Buffalo, a huge weight will be removed from the necks of the entire organization and the team IQ will certainly shoot skywards!

  6. valoisvipers - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Another member of the media that doesn’t actually watch any games!

    • homegrowntalentmn - Jul 8, 2013 at 8:54 PM

      I agree. Jim souhan is a cry baby!

  7. sjsharks66 - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Oh Minny please spare us the dramatics. You are the same team that threw out ridiculous contracts to help fuel a lockout. Sounds like Wild fans are just looking for an excuse to change loyalties to another team. I heard a few people say they were cheering for the Blackhawks full time now?

    • northstarsmitty - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      hahahaha wow, where do you gather information from? The last thing a Wild fan would do is root for the stupid Blackhawks with all their bandwagon fans (like Wisconsin citizens do) Yeah, we did get in a few big contracts before the lockout happened, but we did not cause it, do your research. Plus, Kovalchuk and many others dampered the outrageous contracts, we just snuck in at the end, but even with that, the contracts are far from crazy, just the length. You are just bitter we keep squeezing you for talent and give you garbage in return, outside of getting Burns from us

  8. peterjohnjoseph - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    People have been trying to spin Matt Cooke’s actions for years in a way to save face, but the reality is whether or not he’s changed or “evolved”, he still has it in him to be a cheap, head and knee hunting career assassin.

    Cooke just has this look in his eyes.. like a psychotic stare. I honestly just believe in that head is a sociopath that is being held back by his coaches or team to save face, and his playing time. He’s like a mob assassin thats been told by his Godfather that he needs to calm down for while until the heat is off of them. The only problem is, I just see him itching to kill again, and when he strikes, its someones hopes and dreams that will die.

    • peterjohnjoseph - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      I should add, with saying all this, the guy can play from time to time. I’ve seen games where he took the team on his back. One of which was Game 3 or 4 against Ottawa in the playoffs. He’s a solid third line type player that can grind it out and get to dirty areas with the best of them. Those kind of guys can lift teams with a single shift. The question is whether his upside can even out his downside. I’d be anxious to hear what ex team mates honestly think about him. Not what they say to the media, but to each other. I’d especially like to know what he’s like away from the game. I think that would answer a lot of questions about whether his on ice persona is just an act to carve a niche for himself, or a guy that sincerely wanted to hurt people before management stepped in to intervene.

    • jpelle82 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      hyperbole much? i get it though, he has the crazy look. i personally never liked how he acted on the bench even after he “reformed” his on ice behavior. it always looked like he was arguing or trying to explain everything he did when a coach talked to him. he was always pointing and yelling, he never put his head down and just shut up. kinda like when you tell a petulant child to stop fighting with their sibling for the 1000th time and they always say ” they hit me first!”. it just never clicks, the light doesnt ever come on. hard to replace his play on the ice though, i dont think anyone can argue against the fact that the guy is a good hockey player and an excellent penalty killer. thats why he’s still fetching decent paychecks and playing in the league.

      • peterjohnjoseph - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        Haha, yes, it was kind of an over the top way of comparing it, but really, its the only way I can explain the way that I feel he’s held back more by team management, coaches, and players, than himself alone. I may be completely wrong. Maybe I’m not. The book still has not fully been written on Matt Cooke’s career.

  9. blue21c - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Matt Cooke is a SCUMBAG!!!!!!

  10. ashtongronholz8 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Being a MN fan this signing was extremely depressing at first… And still is but I guess ill give this guy 1 more chance since he’s on my team. I’m all for nitty gritty hockey but there’s a fine line between that and being a disgrace to the sport. Prove me wrong Matt Cooke.

  11. ashtongronholz8 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Sjsharks66 I’m not sure you realize you’re talking about MN here (state of hockey). We are arguably the most loyal fan base you’re perspective is a bit skewed that hot weather is getting to your head

  12. modellforprez - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    2 years ago Cooke in the 71st or 72nd game of the season at consol energy center VS. The Rangers he hit a guy not sure which one they all suck anyway he was suspended the final 10 regular season games and 7 playoff games and right after was approached by Mario Lemieux and Dan Bylsma and Ray Shero about how he needed to change and that the pens would release him or trade him if he didnt Smartin up and play clean. And they took lots of scorn in Pittsburgh and in the league for sticking by him. the following season he didnt get suspended once and his penalty minutes dropped from 146 to 44 and he scored a career high 19 goals and a couple in a playoff series. the point is and im saying this to Wild fans. Cooke has changed he USED to be a cheap shot artist. he does not play like that anymore at all. in the boston series he checked a guy in the boards and was thrown out of the game. it wasnt even a nasty hit but he was thrown out cause he is Matt Cooke and it happen against Boston which his most dirty hit also ended the career of Marc Savard. BUT anyone who thinks cooke is still a dirtbag obviously doesnt watch much hockey.

  13. partymoney - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/3255020023/832c46e2b05219ec1dd2a476258931a4.jpeg

  14. erniecohen - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    In the last two years,

    Cooke 19.1 GVT
    Clutterbuck 7.1 GVT
    Bouchard 8.6 GVT
    Setoguchi 14.3 GVT

    Cooke is a steal. I wish PIT had just given Jokinnen to MIN and kept Cooke.

  15. sjsharks66 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Yeah your fan base is so loyal. Look back at the other Cooke articles. Wild fans saying they are going to sell season tickets, not go to anymore games and change their loyalties to other teams. All because Matt Cooke joined their team.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      http://comments.startribune.com/comments.php?d=content_comments&asset_id=214558171&section=/sports/wild&comments=true

      Please count the number commenters who for and against Cooke and then compare. Far more folks are in support of the signing than against.

  16. sabatimus - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Given Shanahan, I think Cooke not being suspended over the last two seasons is indicative of absolutely nothing…except the inconsistency/incompetency of the league office.

  17. jax2626 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Dude, seriously. Cooke’s time in Vancouver was over 5 years ago. Let it go.

    Cooke had 44 penalty minutes in 82 games in the 11/12 season. You can either be happy that you got a guy who scored 19 goals in the last full season (which would have put him tied for 3rd on the Wild that year), was on pace for 14 goals in the shorten season, has only been a minus player 4 out of 14 seasons while usually playing against the best lines of the other team and plays a physical game.

    Or

    You can whine about something that happened along time ago. Grudges don’t often produce results. I would love to have a guy like Cooke on the Preds. Hell, he’d be one of the best goal scorers – which is sad in and of itself.

  18. montrealbbr - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    He is a dirty player and the only good thing about him being on your favorite team is that he isnt going to end the career of one of your guys.

  19. matteyghoukis - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    I’m from Pittsburgh

    I just wanted to weigh-in on Cooke. I was sorry to see him go, everything said about him will be missed. You’ll find him to be a leader in ways as well. He really did come a long way from the old days of hitting to hurt. The problem is he is who he is so he won’t get breaks from the refs. Ill miss him bcoz of the obvious trouble we had with Boston. Now we have one less player who will do what he did. Minnesota don’t worry you’re getting a good player..

  20. 950003cups - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Congratulations Minnesota FANS (Fletcher and Leipold excluded) that’s showing class. Cooke represents everything wrong with hockey. I’m selfishly glad he’s in the WC.

  21. lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    http://comments.startribune.com/comments.php?d=content_comments&asset_id=214558171&section=/sports/wild&comments=true

    Wow, I don’t know who these season ticket sellers are, but they sure aren’t leaving a whole lot of comments on Souhan’s article. Quite the opposite actually, and count me one of the folks who thinks Cooke’s taken the criticism on his dirty play to heart and changed his game. Welcome aboard, Cookie monster. We could use a player with some skill to go with the sandpaper.

  22. johnglen92 - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    I never did like his past actions, but it was interesting to see in the playoffs cooke vs boston. that’s how it looked to me anyway. since he was the only person playing in a penguins jersey.

  23. malkinrulez - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    micklethepickle shows how little u know. Cooke wasn’t welcomed with open arms when he got to Pittsburgh, however fans did warm up to him as he is a hard worder and does serve a purpose. For the record ur beloved Pinocchio is the same player , give him time he will hurt someone badly

  24. porkchopexpress1969 - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    2013: Matt Cooke slices Erik Karlsson’s Achilles’ tendon with his skate.

    Yea good player….. Sigh. He should of been out of the league a long time ago

    • matteyghoukis - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      Mr. Porkchop

      I understand your concerns about character and Cooke, but if you seen the hit on Karlsson over and over, you have to conclude that no matter how good a skater a guy is couldn’t place a blade in that exact spot how it happened. You’re just proving that when crying “wolf”, no one will ever listen to Cooke Again. Just wait til he’s your player for a bit you’ll be yelling at the refs too..

  25. scalfor3 - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    I love how Cooke has managed to go a full year and a half without ending someone’s career and Pittsburgh fans want to give him the Nobel Peace Prize for it. The guys a decent player, but hes a POS.

  26. sainthubbins56 - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Cal gets gooned by Hall…no response, Zucker gets headhunted by Perry…no response, we lose Pominville for the playoffs due to a flying Dustin Brown elbow…no chance to respond. I am glad we’ve got Cooke on the WIld. If we are going to take sticks to the face every game an not get a call i’ll take a cheapshot artist like Cooke to level the playing field. I hope to see him showing his true colors to those teams next season.

    • slysipops - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      i agree with you about guys like PERRY and others getting away with crap just because they are on the no-touch group ! but the league and officials need to be pressured into fixing that. turning a guy like COOKE at his worst loose will not stop that.

  27. dutchman1350 - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    The fact that Cooke changed his “style” proves he was a dirty SOB. A guy like Raffi Torres always pushed the edge and continued. I have more respect for Raffi as he is consistent, which may not be deliberate. Cookes new style proved his old style was deliberate.

  28. matteyghoukis - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Not saying that scalfor3, and trust me I have my issues with Brendan shannahan on being assertive. I mean if he were a Mass judge I’m sure he’d let Aaron Hernandez free and buy him an ice cream.

    I just think the changes Cooke has made are significant, if he didn’t I would’ve been the 1st Pens fan to say so. I know he will be a good player for Minnesota and will be your best PK, and hard worker in general, but if something else BIG happens from him I think the league should suspend him or anyone. I just feel it won’t go that way and I think he’s focused on Hockey for the duration..

  29. slysipops - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    one writer who calls ‘em as they are….. but will probibly have a tough time getting interviews from the home team this season ! as for the WILD ..kind of confusing as to what they are trying to accomplish with the moves made so far ? maybe just trying to live up to their name >>>>THE WILD ??

  30. lbeezyse - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    I have read a lot of stupid comments & I will add some insight from a Wild fan not seeing the world through rose colored glasses.

    Cooke brings an element to our team that not even the beloved Cal Clut or anyone else could bring since the Boogy man. Cooke brings retaliation for going after our star players. No one stepped to Brown after his dirty hit nor did anyone step to the Jets when Bouchard was ran face first into the dasher. There is many more instances when no one would stand up for the injured Wild player after he got run.

    Players respect Cooke for what he can do to you in retaliation if you take a shot at a team mate. It opens up the ice for our players to work. I really like a 3rd line of Brodz, Cookie, & El Nino. Tough, fast, & can score. A lot better than Brodz, butch, & clutter IMO. Don’t get me started on how worthless Clutter was fair weather Wild fans. Good luck with that hack NYI. I’ll take Cooke 10-1 over Cal anyday.

    Give the guy a chance!

  31. vstar1us - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:32 AM

    Well for a bad person Cooke is, he has gotten over eighty comments! Good or Bad, at least people are talking about the Wild. Fletcher is the GM he is paid to call the shots, Cooke may not have been my first choice but he does know how to hot and take a hit.
    Maybe age has done him good, Mr Fletcher is you need a handler for Cooke I come off military deployment right before the season starts.

    Go Wild Go…..

  32. northstarsmitty - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Did anyone read the Souhan article? It was pure garbage. He twisted and contorted facts about the Wild GM regime at the time. Without going over every point, I will summarize. He does not like goons, fighting in hockey. He does not see any point to it or he refuses to rationalize when others argue it’s impact on the game. What about BOOGIE? He was an enforcer, not like Bertuzzi dirty, but he did his job well. Why does Souhan have such a fit over this role in hockey? The WILD have had a fine off season. Trading Seto was fine by me, getting rid of Cal was sad, but great timing of the move and good return. We would never get anything close to that next season. I like the Cook signing, he will fit nicely with Rupp and Konopka as the tough guys. Bouchard, thank goodness he is gone! Zucker will take his role nicely. Losing Cullen was the worst of all, but Coyle will fill his spot at Center easily, which is good bc he was a forward last year and this is his natural position. The Wild have done fine, loosen those insance cup expectations, it takes some time to build a cup contender around 2 core players. I mean, we didn’t sign Gretzky & Lindstrom here, we need more pieces. Just wait, next year, VANEK is coming to town…

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