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01-18-2013, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by TheOrganist View Post
This summer was supposed to be another "huge" off-season for Cole (Dan O'Neil wrote a nice article on the topic after the season re: Cole's development and a possible partner for Petro) and heading into training camp he should've had a leg up on the competition by competing in the AHL (which Hitch said was the biggest advantage during the lockout).

And yet here we are with the Blues signing a 35+ defenseman and Cole likely heading back to the AHL where, if the Blues still believe in him long-term, it would be much better for him to get top 4 minutes with Peoria than your option B.

Hitch the other day said Cole cannot play against top players which means he's not ready for a top 4 role. They gave him another chance...the staff deems he's not ready. That, more than anything else, is what necessitated the Redden signing.

The problem is sticking him against top line players, during his first full season (not even Pie did that) and what the other pairs wind up looking like. We all agree the Polak and Jackman is not a good pairing. Jackman can't handle the top line guys so he is not a good match for Pie. Which leaves Russel w/ Pie or Cole.

The problem with Cole is that he says all the right things but seems to be having a difficult time taking that next step in his development. When he's in the A, the report are that he's steady but not a guy who's a stud like a Brendan Smith (same draft class).

Only people saying Brendan Smith is going to be a stud are the Redwings fans. The non-bais Wings fans all say that he likely a 2nd pairing guy.

I like Cole, I do, I'm just wondering if the powers that be in the organization are losing faith in his long-term, top-4 potential.

He'll be 24 in a month.
I don't feel the organization has lost faith at all. Last year, if they had played him regularly, we would have had 2 2nd year Dmen, and 1 st. It is a numbers game, because you really need experience on the backend. Better to play top pairing minutes in the AHL then to be a #7 with spot play.

As for Redden. I don't think it means anything. I would much rather have him then Woywitka as a 7.

Redden was burried in the minors for one reason and that was contract. He wouldn't have set foot in the AHL if he was making 3 million per. (Lost a step, what player doesn't, but his hockey IQ will make him pretty effective).

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