People who say we lost size and grit are thinking of the Cole of last year. And I loved him too and I'm sad to see him go but I believe I will be happy to see him gone before the end of his contract.
The way Cole was playing this year (I wanted to throw something at the TV yesterday watching him trying a weak poke check with one hand on the stick and then turn around instead of going into the corners full force). I think it was more than a slow start, he's heart is just not into it anymore, he doesn't seem to be willing to deal with the pain of being cross checked anymore.
And Ryder is not soft, I actually think he's more of a complete player than what he was his first time around here.
Plus we save cap space for next year (I might be dreaming but I really think Bergevin wants to go after Perry, seems like his kind of player) and we get a pick in a really good draft.
In the end, I'm happy with this deal even though I'm not a big Ryder fan.