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02-26-2013, 11:39 PM
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Bergevin made a good trade given the situation. As much as I liked Cole's power forward style of play last year, both his on-ice and off-ice actions this year were legitimate concerns.

Let's face it, Cole played like crap this season. He looks terribly out-of-shape, often falls on the ice for no reason, his play looks uninspired, rarely makes the effort to drive to the net anymore and looks totally gased out after only a 30 seconds shift. Despite the bad play and slow start, Therrien still gave Cole many chances to redeem himself but it failed. He was often used in crucial PP situations despite the fact that he did not deserve that playing time. Him being utilized during that 4 on 3 last night against Ottawa in OT was another example of that. After 19 games, there is a legitimate concern to believe that it's not simply a slow start.

His comments about retiring and expressed concerns about his children's high-school situation here in Montreal should not be taken lightly. Those are signs that suggest he would not have been totally happy playing here next year and that perhaps part of him wanted out. Cole's state-of-mind was not exactly pure and that is one of the reasons why he got traded. Not that he doesn't like Montreal, he simply realized during the lock-out that his family was his #1 priority and staying here would not have been best for them. Not wanting to be here after this season is something that Cole will not openly say out of respect, but his comments reflected that and Bergevin knew what was going on.

Keeping Cole represented a risk for the team with the way he was playing, especially with two more years left on his contract at not a cheap salary. It's easier to trade an aging, struggling and potentially overpaid player when he's coming off a career year and when your team is winning and sitting 1st in the conference. Given the uncertainty surrounding Cole, Bergevin got a fair return in Ryder, who has been playing some pretty good hockey in Dallas and managed to add a 3rd round draft pick. He basically unloaded a contract that was on the verge of becoming a burden with the way Cole has played and the guy's "apparent but not so apparent" desire to leave Montreal next year.

Although Ryder is not the most complete player and can be streaky, he has a lethal right-handed shot and has the tendency to score clutch goals. The Cole of last year is no doubt a better player than Ryder. However, we do not live in the past and Ryder is undeniably an upgrade over the Cole of this year. Time to move on guys.

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