I liked Cole but this is a good deal for the Habs.. I hope now the Habs don't deal away any picks this year. Having 6 picks in the first 3 rounds is quite nice. Getting rid of Cole's contract is also nice and along with the expected Kaberle buyout (if MB can't trade him) gives the Habs some added cap space if they don't decide to bring Ryder back.
The pick is probably because Ryder is an expiring contract which tends to lower player's value in trades.
What if Gionta isn't in a slump and, I don't know, regressed. What if Cole is on the same boat? I'm not sure why it's so hard to believe that regressing isn't uncommon in the NHL as players approach mid/late 30s. Gomez and Kaberle regressed sooner. Sometimes this isn't the case, hence the risk Dallas took. Sometimes it is the case, hence the Habs dealing him despite knowing they need size/grit.
This is the first move for Bergevin and I assume that he'll continue to make changes. If I had to make a guess, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Habs make a trade with Florida before the deadline because of the Tallon connection.
He's used to reactive GM's, not proactive ones. This move by Bergevin was a proactive move...something we have not seen here in a very long time.
So for the last couple of decades, and especially when Koivu was our top C, I hoped year in and year out for a power forward either through draft or trade, and we never got one. My hope for the illusive power forward was there when Cole became a UFA, he was the guy I wanted and shock of all shocks, PG got him. I was thrilled at the time.Yes the contract was long for Coles age but I thought he could give us a couple of good years and maybe a couple of okay years.
So I must be dejected about this trade. Actually, no. We finished almost at the bottom last year and got a new GM. With MBs moves and non moves I have been more and more convinced that he is shooting at having a window for a real contending team 2-3 years into his tenure, and this move fits that plan. Coles contract would be up in 2 years and it would not be unrealistic to believe he would start to decline over that time. Quite frankly, though he is a notorious slow starter, he seems to be have been really off this year, though recently turning things around. Again, no matter, he would not be part of our window and his heavy contract would be a burden in signing guys, either UFA or RFA, who could be part of the window.
Last year there were alot of D-men available as UFAs, in the next couple of years it will be top forwards that are to be UFAs. Sure, a number will resign with their teams, or be traded at the deadline to other teams that will resign some, but a few will hit UFA status. I think MB is patient over the next couple of years and is looking for the absolute right pieces, he will not settle I dont think, and he has some time here. Opening up this Cap space gives him the ammunition to go for a top flight 27-28 year old game breaker UFA forward. Sure, no guarantees The Guy is there as a UFA or that he signs here, but now MB can at least have a shot. If he fails then he hopes we develop what we need or trade , in which case we still need the money to pay.
Im sorry to see Cole go, nice to have a power forward, but I think I get MBs reasoning and it sure makes sense. The third rounder is nice, and given the extra 2 2nds and TT as our draft guy, we could land an extra player from these 3 picks alone. And sure, we have flexibilty to wheel and deal at the draft with all these extra picks. Note, this also fits the window as this will be the last draft where you might expect players picked to be in the NHL within the next few years ( talking about average players here not A.Gallys or PKs ).
Gally - DD - Pac (Dangerous fast line)
Clowe - Plekanec - Bourque ( Shutdown line who can score goal on a regular basis)
Ryder - Eller - Galchenyuk ( Probably most dangerous 3rd line in the NHL)
Prust - White - Moen (Talk about a solid grinder line!)