Chuck Fletcher wasn't quite done working on the first day of NHL free agency.

Fletcher, the Minnesota Wild's general manager, said he didn't expect any more major moves on Friday after the team re-signed defenseman Jared Spurgeon to a three-year deal and officially added defenseman Keith Ballard after free agency opened at 11 a.m. CT on Friday. But then the Wild altered its forward ranks a bit in the evening.

Minnesota traded Devin Setoguchi to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2014 second-round pick and then signed Matt Cooke to a three-year contract. The Wild saved $3 million against the salary cap by trading Setoguchi with one year left on his contract and then reportedly signed Cooke for an average of $2.5 million per year.

Fletcher said "things started blowing up a little bit" after he met with reporters earlier in the day to talk about the Ballard and Spurgeon signings.

"Obviously you have conversations with teams from time to time, but the market on Devin heated up quite a bit in the afternoon," Fletcher said. "It was markedly different from where we were a week ago and certainly this morning even. Teams I guess had maybe lost out on other players or what have you, but we felt it was an opportunity to make a hockey trade with Devin to get some value for him and clear the cap space and sign a different type of player in Matt Cooke, who we felt would really complement the players on our team well."

Cooke, 34, had eight goals and 13 assists in 48 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. A known agitator and physical player, Cooke had 36 penalty minutes last season, 97 hits and led Pittsburgh with 41 blocked shots.

But it was the evolution of Cooke's game and the type of player he is now that interested Fletcher and the Wild, who know Cooke well. Fletcher was an assistant general manager and Minnesota coach Mike Yeo was an assistant coach in Pittsburgh when Cooke was acquired by the Penguins in 2008.

Cooke had a reputation for being a "dirty" player earlier in his career, but said he's changed his approach.

"It's something that I feel that where I'm in a situation where it's never going to be gone," Cooke said of the reputation. "But to guarantee myself success in the way that I play night in and night out, it's something that I had to work on. I spent a lot of time doing video and a lot of time trying to teach myself from the approach out to change and feel like I've accomplished that."

Cooke has averaged 25.7 points and nearly 11 goals per season in his 14-year NHL career. He's also known as a strong penalty killer, while reshaping his game to continue his career.

Adding Cooke, Fletcher said he was focused on adding a different element to the Wild and fortifying the third line with Cooke's varying skill-set. With Setoguchi, Fletcher felt the team had an abundance of top-six forwards for the scoring lines, including veterans Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Jason Pominville, Dany Heatley and young players like Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter. Cooke helps add different skills and more defined roles for the third and fourth lines.

"Players like Matt bring different dimensions, but he has become a really good two-way hockey player," Fletcher said. "Somebody that I know personally, but more importantly, I've watched the evolution of his game. He's really become a good two-way player and somebody I think will complement the players on our team. We had some duplication of role on our team with players maybe all competing for the same spot. Again, I think this kind of clears that up a little bit, gives the coaches different options and a different look in certain places and helps the cap yet again.