We were becoming a team that could control the boards, now we lose Cole and Bourque overnight. I know we free up salary, but couldn't we have unloaded him in the offseason? We are now a team of midgets in the top 6 again... sigh.
Cole did say some questionable things when the season started again. He was really upset about losing salary and I think that's where the retirement comments came from. He has looked really unmotivated.
On the ice, we lose some forward momentum and power, but gain grit and real scoring ability. Ryder can be inconsistent, but apparently so can Cole. And even Ryder's low ebbs are pretty good. We also shave a couple of years off.
Off the ice, we gain cap space.
Future benefits - depends on how Ryder fits and what kind of contract he'd want as a UFA. If he's good, if he's willing to take a two-year deal... then okay.