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Cooke looks to shed tough guy image

Cooke looks to shed tough guy image Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jul 9, 2013 at 10:21 am

UNDATED (AP) Matt Cooke says he's not the same player whose on-ice transgressions have led to five suspensions by the NHL over his 14-season career.

Cooke signed a three-year, $7.5 million contract with Minnesota on Friday, the last and most startling move made by the Wild on a busy first day of free agency. They also traded forward Devin Setoguchi, let forwards Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Matt Cullen sign with other teams, signed defenseman Keith Ballard and re-signed defenseman Jared Spurgeon.

Cooke has long been one of the most-loathed opposing players among Wild fans, dating to his aggressive performance in the 2003 playoffs when he was with Vancouver. Cooke also found trouble for various hits in recent seasons with Pittsburgh.

Mike Tanner

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