Thread: Confirmed with Link: Free Agency Thread
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07-02-2012, 03:15 PM
  #280
PocketNines
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Or how about just playing Ian Cole. There's a myth that's prevalent that Cole didn't play last year much because he couldn't "beat out" guys like Colaiacovo. No. Cole had a two-way contract and Colaiacovo didn't. They had seven one-way defense contracts and so it meant Cole played in Peoria unless there was an injury issue or it came time to put him on the unlimited playoff roster as insurance. Cole simply never got top six regular minutes because that would have committed them to benching/waiving a one-way contract player, and this was not a financial option. Armstrong made a point of talking about Cole playing regular minutes as a top six defenseman from the start of the season. That's a pretty clear message from the GM about how they value this guy and what they think he's capable of doing.

I think there's a very decent possibility, since Cole can play the right, that they start the year with pairings of:

Pietrangelo-Polak
Jackman-Shattenkirk
Russell-Cole
Woywitka/Chorney/Fairchild (whoever wins the 7th spot in camp)

And you know what? This will be ok. They will win lots and lots and lots and lots of games. At some point when a trade is ripe it may be made. Or Cole could surprise. There is really nothing to panic about here. They tried to get Garrison but they didn't get him and now the options boil down to getting the wrong guy in free agency or going with the above lineup which would work fine.

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