If you didn’t catch my interview on KFAN on Monday morning with Wild free-agent pickup Matt Cooke, check out this link.

In my opinion, the best part of the interview came at the end when I asked about his number, 24. That number holds a special place in the hearts of many Wild fans because it was the number worn by the late Derek Boogaard. It’s also the number Cooke has worn his entire nearly 1,000-game NHL career.

“The team told me they’re OK with me wearing it because Marty [Havlat] wore it after [Boogaard],” Cooke told me. “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.”

Cooke received that blessing from Joanne and Len Boogaard this morning and will indeed wear No. 24 with the Wild.

Derek’s dad, Len, forwarded Cooke’s email to siblings Krysten, Aaron and Ryan.

“I read the e-mail and I greatly respect Matt for what he said in it,” brother Ryan Boogaard told me in an email. “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.”

Like I said, check out the interview. It was a pretty honest one in which Cooke talked about his past mistakes on the ice and what he’s done to try to change (hours of video). The stats support his claim:

According to research, he has been suspended six times for a total of 25 regular-season games and seven playoff games. The most severe was the 10 games plus the first round of the playoffs (seven-game series loss to Tampa Bay) suspension he received March 20, 2011, for elbowing the Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh.