Matt Cooke #24 of the Pittsburgh Penguins controls the puck against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on March 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Penguins defeated the Avalanche 5-1.
(March 2, 2012 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)

Cooke seeks Derek Boogaard’s parents’ blessing to wear late son’s number


34-year-old forward Matt Cooke recently signed with the Minnesota Wild and that act alone has created controversy.

Amid that, he did an interview with KFAN and among the subjects that came up was the sensitive issue of what number he would wear. Throughout his career, he has been No. 24, which was also worn in Minnesota by the late Derek Boogaard.

“The team told me they’re OK with me wearing it because Marty [Havlat] wore it after [Boogaard],” Cooke said. “I don’t really feel comfortable putting it on without his mum and dad’s blessing.

“I’ve sent emails off to them. I want to let them know that by putting it on I’m absolutely not doing anything disrespectful. It’s been my only number in the NHL, but at the end of the day, I don’t want anyone’s feelings hurt. I don’t want anyone to think that I am being disrespectful and I want to make sure I take care of that before I even entertain the thought of putting it on.”

Len Boogaard, the father of Derek, forwarded the message to his kids, including Derek’s brother, Ryan.

“I read the e-mail and I greatly respect Matt for what he said in it,” Ryan said, according to the Star Tribune. “I texted my dad and told him I have no issues with it. I’m very impressed with Matt for what he did by reaching out to my parents.

“He didn’t have to do it as he could have just worn #24, but he thought of Derek and our family before doing so. I knew that someone would eventually wear #24 and I was not expecting them to reach out to us, so when Matt did, I could not have been happier.”

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: