Minnesota Wild News: Matt Cooke Returns To Practice

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After missing 27 games, Matt Cooke returned to practice with the Minnesota Wild this morning.

Per the great Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Matt Cooke is making his way back with the Wild. The 36-year-old winger has been out of the lineup since early February after having surgery on a hernia. Today, Cooke took part in a full practice with the Wild for the first time in over a month, though he has been skating on his own for a few weeks. This is a pretty quick recovery given the injury and Cooke’s age.

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Love him or hate him, Matt Cooke is a pivotal part of the Minnesota Wild’s lineup. The only player on the roster to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup, Cooke brings veteran leadership to the penalty kill and bottom-6. I might be in the minority here, but it seems to me that Cooke has cleaned up his game quite a bit since joining the Wild, save for the Tyson Barrie incident.

Not a prolific scorer, Cooke has 8 points (4-4) in 27 games this season.

The Wild suddenly sits with a comedy of riches at forward with the return of Ryan Carter. Kyle Brodziak is also expected back when the Wild meets the Rangers on Thursday. This means that when Cooke is fully ready to return, the Wild has 15 NHL capable forwards on the roster and can slot people in based on needs. My guess is that Erik Haula or Jordan Schroeder come out for a team like St. Louis or Winnipeg and slot back in to the lineup when more speed is needed.

We’ll keep you updated when we hear about Cooke’s return to the line-up. Thanks for reading!

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