Canucks trade Cooke to Caps for Pettinger Staff

2/26/2008 7:41:06 PM

With Cristobal Huet and Sergei Fedorov already in the mix, the Washington Capitals added anohter veteran player acquiring forward Matt Cooke from the Vancouver Canucks for left winger Matt Pettinger.

Cooke, a 5-foot-11, 205-pound winger and penalty-killer, has seven goals, 16 points and 64 penalty minutes in 61 games this season.

Pettinger has one season left on a three-year contract he signed with Washington in 2006.

He has two goals and seven points in 56 games this season, and has 52 goals and 99 points assists in 334 games for Washington over the past seven seasons.

"My greatest attribute is may skating," Pettinger told TSN on Tuesday. "I play a physical game. I don't know where I fit in there, hopefully on the top nine."

Cooke was told of the trade prior to the Canucks practice and left the arena without speaking to reporters.  He later discussed his relationship with Alain Vigneault on a conference call.

"I like Alain as a person," Cooke said. "Him and I had some issues and maybe didn't see quite eye to eye."

Cooke is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1 while Pettinger has another year remaining on his contract worth just over $1 million.

The Canucks had been criticized by many fans for not landing one of the bigger names at the deadline.  Vancouver had been rumoured to be in play for Brad Richards, Mats Sundin and Olli Jokinen.

"I wasn't about to take significant, young roster players off our team at this point in order to land a player," Canucks General Manager Dave Nonis told the CANADIAN PRESS. "I think it would have set us back. For me, I don't think it was a situation that at the end made sense for us."