Penguins sign forward to replace Ruutu

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The Penguins have agreed to a two-year contract with free-agent forward Matt Cooke.

The deal is worth $1.2 million per season.

Cooke, who will be 30 on Sept. 7, is 5 foot 11, 205 pounds and is an accomplished agitator and penalty-killer.

His addition will help to offset the departure of left winger Jarkko Ruutu, who signed with Ottawa and once was Cooke's teammate with the Canucks.

Cooke had 10 goals, 13 assists and 91 penalty minutes in 78 games with Vancouver and Washington last season.

The Penguins apparently still are working to finalize a contract with left winger Janne Pesonen, a free agent from Finland.

Pesonen, 26, told a Finnish radio station yesterday that he intends to sign a one-year contract to play, but the agreement still is a work in progress. Pesonen also has received offers from teams in Russia and Switzerland.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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