Minnesota Wild: Matt Cooke Put On Waivers


Matt Cooke has been placed on waivers by the Minnesota Wild, pending a buyout.

The Minnesota Wild made its first major move of the off-season today, placing veteran winger Matt Cooke on waivers with the intention of buying out the final year of his contract, according to the Wild website.

At 36-years-old, Cooke is the second oldest player on the Wild and time has started to catch up with the bottom-6 forward, who played just 29 regular-season games in 2014-2015, registering 10 points (4g-6a) In 2013-2014, his first season with the Minnesota Wild, Matt Cooke played 82 games, registering 18 goals and 28 points. Cooke was limited to 2 assists in 7 playoff games this year.

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If Cooke clears waivers, he likely will, his $2.5 million cap hit will be reduced to $500,000 in 2015-2016 and $1 million in 2016-2017. Cooke was slated to make $3 million in the final year of his contract. Buying out Cooke will give the Wild about $12 million dollars in cap space to work with to re-sign Mikael Granlund, Devan Dubnyk, and Christian Folin.

Although he’s a polarizing figure, Matt Cooke’s contributions to the Wild are undeniable. A reliable penalty killer and solid checking forward, his presence will be sorely missed. Here’s what general manager Chuck Fletcher had to say about the decision to buy out Cooke, per the Wild website.

"“In order to give our team more salary cap flexibility for the upcoming season we needed to make this difficult decision,”  “We thank Matt for his time with the Wild and wish him the best going forward.” – General Manager Chuck Fletcher"

With how deep the Wild is on both wings, this isn’t a surprising move, but it remains to be seen if the Wild will shop for a bottom-6 winger or promote someone like Brett Bulmer to fill that role.

Next: The Trade Value Of Mikko Koivu

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