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06-01-2012, 04:47 PM
  #1
BobbyClarkeFan16
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Ian Cole

Hello Blues fans. I come in peace. I wanted to ask a question about Ian Cole and his place within the Blues organization. Is he going to be a top four guy in St.Louis or is he going to be a bottom pairing defender? I remember when Cole was drafted how he was projected to be a top shut down guy. With that being said, I know that there have been a few hiccups along the way in his development. Do you feel he will become a shut down guy or has he been passed on the depth chart by other defenders? Do you also think a change of scenery might be required for Cole to reach the next level? My apologies if any of you are offended by these questions.

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06-01-2012, 05:41 PM
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BlueBeard
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Cole still has pretty clear top four potential but it is yet to be determined if he's the future partner for Pietrangelo or Shattenkirk. When I look back on the team this year I see that there were not a whole lot of opportunities for Hitch to put Cole in game situations where he was in a position to succeed without needing to shift our other LHD around and take them out of situations that they were successful in. Cole got a few shots to play next to Pietrangelo, and I would say it was maybe 40/60 good versus bad(and I use the term bad pretty loosely here). We need to keep in mind his experience level in his evaluation. If Cole is getting some shifts next to Pietrangelo those are not "easy minutes", so I expect someone with his experience level to have some ups and downs in those situations and I'm not going to complain when they happen. He also spent some time next to Polak and he looked fine there. That pairing was too much of the same thing from both d-men so it didn't have a real good synergy to it. Cole's offensive skillset is a little better than he's given credit for, but Russell/Polak just compliment each other better than Cole and Polak do.


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06-01-2012, 05:49 PM
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I would have no complaints watching Cole learn from his mistakes on the top pairing with Pietrangelo.

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06-01-2012, 06:37 PM
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I think you ask some legit questions. It's important to keep in mind Cole just turned 23 and has only played in 54 total NHL games. In those games he has 10 points and is a +13. He hasn't played big minutes but has performed kind of how you would expect a 22-year old rookie to perform. Sometimes he looked shaky and other times he looked better and more comfortable. This coming season is where he definitely needs to stay with the team the whole season and get some decent playing time. None of us really know what type of player Cole will be yet. So it's just as possible that he would benefit from a change of scenery as it is that he shines and does well here. This could be an important season for him.

I personally don't think he'll be a first pairing guy, but that's just a gut feeling really. I see him as more of a solid 2nd pairing guy. Him and Shattenkirk could make a good pairing for years to come. Cole is pretty solid at around 220 pounds and he's real strong, and a good skater. Kind of like a younger Polak. He likes to get involved physically and I hope he keeps doing that. He has some solid offensive skills and could put up 20 points a year but being a shut-down guy will probably be his main role, thus why I think he could fill in for Jackman's spot.

I would prefer to get a more established veteran next to Pietrangelo, but I guess I wouldn't be opposed to letting Cole get a chance. I just don't think that'd be the smartest move, as they didn't have A TON of chemistry and we really need to fill that hole next to Petro with a bigger upgrade.

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06-01-2012, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDream View Post
I think you ask some legit questions. It's important to keep in mind Cole just turned 23 and has only played in 54 total NHL games. In those games he has 10 points and is a +13. He hasn't played big minutes but has performed kind of how you would expect a 22-year old rookie to perform. Sometimes he looked shaky and other times he looked better and more comfortable. This coming season is where he definitely needs to stay with the team the whole season and get some decent playing time. None of us really know what type of player Cole will be yet. So it's just as possible that he would benefit from a change of scenery as it is that he shines and does well here. This could be an important season for him.

I personally don't think he'll be a first pairing guy, but that's just a gut feeling really. I see him as more of a solid 2nd pairing guy. Him and Shattenkirk could make a good pairing for years to come. Cole is pretty solid at around 220 pounds and he's real strong, and a good skater. Kind of like a younger Polak. He likes to get involved physically and I hope he keeps doing that. He has some solid offensive skills and could put up 20 points a year but being a shut-down guy will probably be his main role, thus why I think he could fill in for Jackman's spot.

I would prefer to get a more established veteran next to Pietrangelo, but I guess I wouldn't be opposed to letting Cole get a chance. I just don't think that'd be the smartest move, as they didn't have A TON of chemistry and we really need to fill that hole next to Petro with a bigger upgrade.
Were on the same page. If Cole develops into the top pairing shutdown guy i will be suprised but happy no doubt. I know Pietrangelo's really up'd his game after his first full season so maybe Cole can really bring his game to a new level with more experience.

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06-01-2012, 09:14 PM
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Crumblin Erb Brooks
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Id let Cole play with Petro and get a lot of PK time with little to no PP time. Those two looked pretty good in limited time together and their style do contrast well, I actually think Coles aggressiveness might work well with Petro's silky smooth play. Either way, Cole will likely be playing with Shatty or Petro and should be logging 18-20 minutes. You might be able to better shelter him against top lines if you play him with Shatty. And either way, he is playing with a great puck moving defenseman and really only needs to focus on playing strong defense, which is why I think he will succeed with either guy. Who will play with Petro and who will play with Shatty will probably be decided in training camp when they start playing games, unless Jackman comes back. Armstrong does seem to be interested in upgrading his spot though.

But lets not forget that Carlo Colaiacavo has been Petros partner for most of the last two seasons, so its not like he is replacing Lidstrom here.

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06-01-2012, 10:57 PM
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Defencemen usually take a fair amount of time to reach their NHL-level plateau. He hasn't developed as quickly as several players drafted as high as he was. But, many others reached the level of excellent 2-way play at 25, 26 or 27. He's got a fair amount of work to do, but he's got the tools. I'd expect him to reach AT LEAST a strong #4 or up to average #3, and hope he can become a solid #2 on an average NHL team. I'll be overjoyed if he becomes a repeating all-star.

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06-02-2012, 10:36 AM
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I see Cole more as Jackman's eventual (maybe this season) replacement, but still not that top-pairing LHD that we want to put with Pietro.

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06-02-2012, 02:29 PM
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PocketNines
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This article was published yesterday in the PD specifically addressing what you're asking.

Cole was inconsistent in making that first pass this year. He could get possession and get the puck out, but his passes weren't often good enough for the Blues to keep possession. To the extent he solves this issue, he'll rise on the depth charts. His skating is strong, he's plenty physical. He's not quite Polak's freak physical level but it's not a bad comparison. He's got a better offensive game than Polak too. When guys like Pietrangelo come along, it spoils fan expectations every time for similarly situated young players. Pietrangelo is a prodigy that Blues fans may not see again for decades out of one of the franchise's young defenseman. The rest take time to settle in, and ~50 spotty NHL games isn't optimal for developing consistency. I've argued they need to play him full time or trade him because putting him down as the 7th is a mistake and a waste. This is a guy who should absolutely be a top-four defenseman in the NHL, but he will need a year of consistent opportunity as well as the room to make mistakes.

For two years you could see it coming – it's ultimately Cole or Jackman but not both. Cole is more raw but has higher upside and is significantly cheaper and will be even after this ELC expires. If you pick Cole it means you can spend more $$ on a real talent for your top pairing.

If they played Cole on Shattenkirk's pair all year, this is still a team that's going to make the tournament. I liked his attitude reflected in that article – he knows he's gotta be a lefty Polak, a Matt Greene type (he made the Greene comparison). I think the inevitable growing pains you'd get out of Cole being a full-timer are worth the risk and Doug Armstrong is an excellent foreshadower. He made the specific point on the end-of-season show to say that Cole's time has come to be a full-timer. His comments about Jackman and him holding some of the cards strike me as prep for Jackman not being here after they give him a lower offer than Jackman will know he's worth on the open market. I think they will give Jackman an offer but I think Jackman will decide to go elsewhere. That in turn will put one more good lefty out there and help loosen up the market for the Blues. Every day Jason Garrison remains un-signed by Florida is a good day.

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06-02-2012, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
This article was published yesterday in the PD specifically addressing what you're asking.

Cole was inconsistent in making that first pass this year. He could get possession and get the puck out, but his passes weren't often good enough for the Blues to keep possession. To the extent he solves this issue, he'll rise on the depth charts. His skating is strong, he's plenty physical. He's not quite Polak's freak physical level but it's not a bad comparison. He's got a better offensive game than Polak too. When guys like Pietrangelo come along, it spoils fan expectations every time for similarly situated young players. Pietrangelo is a prodigy that Blues fans may not see again for decades out of one of the franchise's young defenseman. The rest take time to settle in, and ~50 spotty NHL games isn't optimal for developing consistency. I've argued they need to play him full time or trade him because putting him down as the 7th is a mistake and a waste. This is a guy who should absolutely be a top-four defenseman in the NHL, but he will need a year of consistent opportunity as well as the room to make mistakes.
For two years you could see it coming it's ultimately Cole or Jackman but not both. Cole is more raw but has higher upside and is significantly cheaper and will be even after this ELC expires. If you pick Cole it means you can spend more $$ on a real talent for your top pairing.

If they played Cole on Shattenkirk's pair all year, this is still a team that's going to make the tournament. I liked his attitude reflected in that article he knows he's gotta be a lefty Polak, a Matt Greene type (he made the Greene comparison). I think the inevitable growing pains you'd get out of Cole being a full-timer are worth the risk and Doug Armstrong is an excellent foreshadower. He made the specific point on the end-of-season show to say that Cole's time has come to be a full-timer. His comments about Jackman and him holding some of the cards strike me as prep for Jackman not being here after they give him a lower offer than Jackman will know he's worth on the open market. I think they will give Jackman an offer but I think Jackman will decide to go elsewhere. That in turn will put one more good lefty out there and help loosen up the market for the Blues. Every day Jason Garrison remains un-signed by Florida is a good day.
The bold is exactly what i expect/hope for Cole. Do you really think the Panthers won't re-sign Garrison?

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06-02-2012, 03:47 PM
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PocketNines
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The bold is exactly what i expect/hope for Cole. Do you really think the Panthers won't re-sign Garrison?
I put it around 50-50 he re-signs with Florida. He plays against the league's toughest competition (see the player usage chart BlueDream linked yesterday, also a thread on main forum) and has for a couple years now while excelling at it. This year he developed a slapshot to go along with the defense, positioning, and size he brings. The accuracy of that shot may vary from year to year but the velocity won't. It's one of the hardest shots in the league. He would be a power play weapon that other teams would have to respect and defend, creating a ripple effect of opportunity for other guys on the unit.

For the $$ and not having to trade a significant asset (as the Blues would, for example, to get Giordano), Garrison is the perfect target on the market. He is so vastly superior to Bryan Allen I don't know where to begin.

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