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Wilderness Walk 7/6/13: Matt F!#$^@& Cooke Edition

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I won't mince words here Wilderness. Whatever word there is just underneath hate (as the hippie in me prevents me from hating anyone), that is how I feel about Matt Cooke. Lets attempt to be objective about this.

Hello Minneapolis!
Hello Minneapolis!
Aaron Holm - Hockey Wilderness

Good morning Wilderness. Dan (WIMinnesotaWildFan) is enjoying some of the finest shoreline northern Wisconsin has to offer at the moment, and with that a less than desirable internet connection. Now besides the lack of wonderful interwebs, his view may very well be much better than today's picture which I snapped from the 24th floor at my sisters apartment in downtown St. Paul.It's okay to be a little jealous, I certainly am. Not to fret though, a little bonus Noogie coming your way this morning!

Now as the sub-headline suggests, I am not very fond of one Matt Cooke. I mean we are talking close to Todd Bertuzzi levels of despise for this individual. The guy has a well-earned reputation for a very, VERY dirty style of play, if you need a reminder of this a simple search on YouTube will suffice as a reminder. I can literally not put into words the lack of hockey respect I have for this individual. His hit on Marc Savard of the Boston Bruins was especially atrocious, not simply for the fact Savard's head was clearly the target, but for just how nonchalant Cooke was about it.

Having said that, I will attempt to put a positive spin on this guy, even as every ounce of me wretches at the fact he will be wearing Iron-Range Red for at least the next 3 years. The guy was a part of a Stanley Cup winning Pittsburgh Penguins squad in 2008-2009. Cooke, as a part of Team Canada helped bring a gold medal for the Canadian squad in the 2004 World Championships. Cooke is also very involved in off the ice charities, including The Cooke Family Foundation of Hope, an organization he and his wife still maintain in Vancouver despite the fact he no longer plays for the Canucks.

Besides Matt Cooke, nothing from day one of the 2013 NHL free agency season came as a surprise for Minnesota Wild fans. Matt Cullen was not even offered a contract as GMCF did not want to insult him with a low-ball offer, Keith Ballard was signed and Devin Setoguchi was traded to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2nd round pick in next years draft. While Setoguchi's departure was not something anyone expected, it comes as no surprise all the same. Pierre-Marc Bouchard also signed with the New York Islanders which was only a surprise for me as far as the destination goes. I mostly figured he would be heading North of the border to a Canadian team.

It was a crazier day than many of us anticipated, but from here on out I'm going to let the links do the talking now.

Wild News

Wild notes: Ballard gets $3 million, Spurgeon $8 million |
Hope Ballard has some stuff left in the tank. Welcome home old friend!

It's exit Setoguchi, enter an antagonist in Cooke |
After just 2 short seasons with the Wild, Seto finds himself playing for what could be our closest rival after realignment.

Chart: Matt Cooke's career controversies |
Just in case you needed a run-down of some of the Matt Cooke highlights.

Max Lapierre, Matt Cooke and despising your team’s new free agent signing | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports
Not sure I will ever come to like Matt Cooke in a Wild Sweater.

Wild GM defends Cooke signing: ‘He’s really evolved’ | ProHockeyTalk
If you have to spin the fact you signed a goon already, perhaps you made a bad choice. I have to believe Fletcher saw this reaction coming.

Off the Trail

Boston Bruins finally win the Jarome Iginla sweepstakes | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports
Can Boston fans accept Iggy into the family after being burned so bad before?

Bobby Ryan traded to Ottawa Senators by Anaheim; who wins the deal? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports
Ryan will take his talents North of the border next season.

Tyler Seguin’s mom says Boston media ‘making up stories’ after Dallas trade | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports
Momma bear ain't happy!

David Clarkson gets 7-year deal with Toronto; Leafs re-sign divisive Tyler Bozak | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports
Toronto fans, I'd like to say I feel sorry for you .... but I don't.

Ryane Clowe, three goal scorer, signs with Devils for five years, $24.25 million | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports
Ryane Clowe scored just three goals last season. That's just one more goal than extraneous vowels in his name.

Ray Emery back to Flyers; Evgeni Nabokov re-signs with Islanders | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports
So, welcome home I guess?

‘Canes sign ex-Bruins backup Khudobin: one year, $800k | ProHockeyTalk
Wait a second, Cam Ward is still starting in Carolina? I guess ex-Wild prospect Anton Khudobin will have to backup the aged net minder.

Rangers ink Benoit Pouliot to one-year, $1.3M pact | ProHockeyTalk
Well looky what the cat dragged in ...

Preds stay busy, sign Cullen: two years, $7 million | ProHockeyTalk
In my favorite tweet of the day, one Pred's fan said 'You took our guy, now we got your hometown boy!' I'm paraphrasing this, but man.... they sure showed us. Good luck in Nashville Cullen! You surely will be missed.

Isles sign Bouchard: one year, $2 million | ProHockeyTalk
Keep your head up PMB, wish nothing but the best for your in New York!