Henry Hank wrote:What kind of instigator is Cooke? I haven't seen him enough to know. He's one of the more prolific hitters in the league, but he doesn't fight much. Is he the kind of guy that gets under the other team's skin through physical play and an unwillingness to back it up? Or does the also employ the kind of borderline dirty tactics of Ruutu?
I think Cooke will work out a lot better than Ruutu. Ruutu was good when he was on, but he was very inconsistent. Cooke's always among the league leaders in hits, so it looks like he's a constant physical presence. He's also a more productive offensive player. If he can stay away from the stupid holding and hooking penalties Ruutu was known for, he's a nice upgrade at what turned out to be a lower cost than what Ruutu got.
Cooke became expendable in Vancouver because they were lucky enough to have another excellent disturber in Alex Burrows, who is younger. Cooke is very mobile and definitely plays with little regard for himself or his opponent.
I mentioned in another thread that his instigation comes from physical play, and stickwork, but not from the post whistle and verbal crap that Ruutu would throw out there. He drives his opponents crazy with hits, during and then slightly after the play as well. He's a bigger pain in the arse than Ruutu because his instigation hurts every time.