I think some of you need to think this through. Trading Cole in the first year of his deal would not be a classless move in any way because he has the NTC. For him to waive the clause he would have to be traded into a situation that he sees as being a favorable one and approves of.
If the right offer came along he may well welcome a chance to play for a top contender and get another shot at the cup rather than wait to see if this team rebounds or has to do a full rebuild.
As for my opinion, I agree with a lot of others that it should only be considered if it's a really good deal.
No, it sends the wrong message to everyone. It forces Cole to uproot and move to a new city and a new team which he may or may not find chemistry with, not to mention his wife and kids. It says we trade people no matter how well they perform. Every young forward benefits from having him with the team, and they'll do worse without him. Pacioretty in particular should benefit from years of playing with him.
I think if you can trade someone and make your team better, now or for the future, you do it. But how do you expect to attract UFA's in the future, when you trade them away, Montreal has had enough trouble in the past signing big names. I wouldn't trade Cole unless he A) asked for a trade or B) was playing like ****, not living up to his contract, but he is C) playing incredibly well for us.
For me, having a couple of power forwards like Cole and Patches are necessary in todays NHL, so I wouldnt move Cole for picks, unless we were talking about 1st or 2nd overall, and that aint happening, or the big , strong , big point producing centre we want, and I dont see that either. So , keep King Cole and enjoy.
At 33 years old Cole is having a career year for our floundering team. Seeing the return some below average players are garnering would you make him available for trade? I think most of us are in agreement the Canadiens are not in a position to be cup contenders in the next 1 or 2 years. In which time Cole's best years will start to fall into the rear view mirror. If the potential for a large return for Cole is there would you move him? (assuming he'd waive his NTC of course)
No, Habs been looking for a forward with skill and size for years. Maybe in 2 years if team is out of playoffs and Cole is nearer end of his career may look at trading him