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Cooke moves over to Wild side

The SportsXchange

The Minnesota Wild reached an agreement with forward Matt Cooke on a three-year, $7.5 million contract, the team announced Friday.

Cooke left the Pittsburgh Penguins after the season as a free agent and he will receive a pay bump. His average annual salary will go from $1.8 million with the Penguins to $2.5 million with the Wild.

The 34-year-old Cooke transformed his game -- and his reputation -- from a hit man to a solid skills player after serving several suspensions for violent hits through the years.

This past season, Cooke had eight goals and 21 points in 48 regular-season games for the Penguins and also played in 15 postseason games. More significantly, he drastically reduced his penalty minutes from 129 in 2011-12 to 44 in 2013.

Cooke is expected to fill the spot next season left by the departed Cal Clutterbuck.

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