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Ian Cole: What happened?

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07-11-2013, 10:14 PM
  #1
odishabs
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Ian Cole: What happened?

Hi guys,

Just seems like Ian has become a flash in the pan, could you guys shed some light on what's going on with his development? Do you expect he's in the long-term plans?

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07-11-2013, 10:24 PM
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Quite simply we traded for Bouwmeester and Leopold who are better than he is currently. I have no beef with the way he played this season but putting him next to Pietrangelo is just asking too much from him. If the Blues shipped him off to a team where he could play 2nd/3rd pairing minutes night in and night out he'd be a quality "meat and potatoes" type of d-man on their roster which is really what he was projected to be from the get go.

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07-11-2013, 10:53 PM
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rumrokh
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I really don't know why they haven't given Cole a longer leash. A couple seasons ago, he and Shattenkirk looked great together down the stretch. Since then, he has basically gotten big minutes and big responsibility next to Pietrangelo or the press box. Very little middle ground. Considering the way he's been jerked around, he's performed well.

It's obvious that Hitchcock and Armstrong both prefer puck-moving guys and veterans, but I do not agree with the handful of people around here who will tell you that Cole has struggled or been bad. He'd fit on the bottom pair on most teams. The problem mostly seems that the Blues don't trust Shattenkirk with him and that's the only logical place for him in the lineup.

An injury to one of the top 6 and he's playing significant minutes and never looking back. But he may also be a season away from getting shuffled to another team and falling off the radar. We'll see.

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07-11-2013, 10:59 PM
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Hitchcock doesn't trust rookies much in general. Unless you have an amazing skill set it'll be hard to find ice time with him as the coach unless he has a bottom minutes spot.

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07-11-2013, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by HooliganX2 View Post
Hitchcock doesn't trust rookies much in general. Unless you have an amazing skill set it'll be hard to find ice time with him.
I thought hitch went through a life changing transformation as a coach in his time away from the game, embracing today's athlete, styles of play and new systems ?

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07-11-2013, 11:26 PM
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I thought hitch went through a life changing transformation as a coach in his time away from the game, embracing today's athlete, styles of play and new systems ?
He has, but the new system he built is based largely on quick transitions and strong outlet passing from the defense. Passing accuracy is one of Coles weakest points. His game is based on his athletic ability over skill or hockey sense. That athletic ability would have come in handy vs LA last season though, but he didnt see the ice.

I honestly would have rather given him the 6th spot over paying Leopold to be our 6th defenseman. Bouw, Petro and Shatty have all averaged well over 20 minutes a game for the past couple of years, and Polak and Jackman are certainly capable of playing 19+ minutes. How much time will that 6th defenseman spot be playing night in and night out? Leopold had a poor season, and now we have one of the highest paid 6th defensemen in the league. A solid 7th defenseman is a good thing to have though.

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07-11-2013, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
I really don't know why they haven't given Cole a longer leash. A couple seasons ago, he and Shattenkirk looked great together down the stretch. Since then, he has basically gotten big minutes and big responsibility next to Pietrangelo or the press box. Very little middle ground. Considering the way he's been jerked around, he's performed well.

It's obvious that Hitchcock and Armstrong both prefer puck-moving guys and veterans, but I do not agree with the handful of people around here who will tell you that Cole has struggled or been bad. He'd fit on the bottom pair on most teams. The problem mostly seems that the Blues don't trust Shattenkirk with him and that's the only logical place for him in the lineup.

An injury to one of the top 6 and he's playing significant minutes and never looking back. But he may also be a season away from getting shuffled to another team and falling off the radar. We'll see.
I agree with this.

Cole might not have a significant future with the Blues, but there's no doubt in my mind that he's a legitimate NHL player.

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07-11-2013, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Crumblin Erb Brooks View Post
He has, but the new system he built is based largely on quick transitions and strong outlet passing from the defense. Passing accuracy is one of Coles weakest points. His game is based on his athletic ability over skill or hockey sense. That athletic ability would have come in handy vs LA last season though, but he didnt see the ice.

I honestly would have rather given him the 6th spot over paying Leopold to be our 6th defenseman. Bouw, Petro and Shatty have all averaged well over 20 minutes a game for the past couple of years, and Polak and Jackman are certainly capable of playing 19+ minutes. How much time will that 6th defenseman spot be playing night in and night out? Leopold had a poor season, and now we have one of the highest paid 6th defensemen in the league. A solid 7th defenseman is a good thing to have though.
I agree - we need a physical stay at home crease clearer/protector intimidator back there. in a perfect world, your top pairing possess these qualities too, or have a mean streak in them when needed.

I think role type players are needed to win - you need a mixture of a few different ingredients in the pot. I know he isnt the "bonecrusher" but he would add some physicality ?

maybe army needs to make another trade or do we need the depth ?

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07-11-2013, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by odishabs View Post
Hi guys,

Just seems like Ian has become a flash in the pan, could you guys shed some light on what's going on with his development? Do you expect he's in the long-term plans?
What happened?
He laid a check on Niklas Kronwall, got unjustly suspended for 3 games and came back afraid to throw a check.

He somehow developed a mental block in his game during that suspension that he has thus far been unable to work around.
He doesn't have the offensive skills to stick as a PMD and doesn't have the size to play good defense if he isn't willing to throw the body around.
In short; he's become a guy who has good athletic ability and is typically in the right position but doesn't really do anything on the ice.


As for his future, Cole is at a crossroads in his career. He either finds a way to get over that mental block and return to being an effective physical D man, or he'll be out of the NHL shortly. Cole's new deal is set to expire the same time Jackman's is. If Cole figures things out, he likely takes over for Jackman at that point. If he doesn't, we'll let him go. I want the kid to get his head straight, but mental blocks are a very tough thing to deal with. Cole's future is entirely in his own hands.

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07-12-2013, 12:54 AM
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Personally I would rather have Cole instead of Leopold in the lineup (well tbh I would like to have Russell in that spot more). Unfortunately Cole just doesn't have a open spot in the lineup right now with all of our rostered defense, but I hope he can find a way to work into Leopold's spot permanently.

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07-12-2013, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by kimzey59 View Post
What happened?
He laid a check on Niklas Kronwall, got unjustly suspended for 3 games and came back afraid to throw a check.

He somehow developed a mental block in his game during that suspension that he has thus far been unable to work around.
He doesn't have the offensive skills to stick as a PMD and doesn't have the size to play good defense if he isn't willing to throw the body around.
In short; he's become a guy who has good athletic ability and is typically in the right position but doesn't really do anything on the ice.


As for his future, Cole is at a crossroads in his career. He either finds a way to get over that mental block and return to being an effective physical D man, or he'll be out of the NHL shortly. Cole's new deal is set to expire the same time Jackman's is. If Cole figures things out, he likely takes over for Jackman at that point. If he doesn't, we'll let him go. I want the kid to get his head straight, but mental blocks are a very tough thing to deal with. Cole's future is entirely in his own hands.
I believe it was Justin Abdelkader that he hit. Stewart is the one that hit Kronwall. And yeah both got suspended.

Although, your point still stands and I do agree with it and I mentioned it before. He has looked more tentative recently which I don't like, because he CAN be a good hitter.

But other than that, he's been caught in a numbers game, and the times we did need him, our left side was so poor that he was forced into the top pairing with Pietrangelo which he obviously isn't ready for. I kinda feel bad for him at times. He kind of joined our team at an awkward moment and has never gotten consistent playing time on the 2nd or 3rd pairing where I think he'd be okay. He is what he is. Nothing special, but I still think he can be a solid top 6 d-man who has a solid all-around game.

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07-12-2013, 04:40 AM
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Hitchcock likes veteran DMen. The Blues kept Cole because he is a good cost control player and a good #7 defenseman. To date Cole has played conservatively when given ice time and we haven't seen him settle in and play his game with confidence. Several teams inquired about him at the trade deadline.

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07-12-2013, 09:12 AM
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Nothing happened really, he hasnt really gotten a chance to play.

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07-12-2013, 09:31 AM
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Nothing happened really, he hasnt really gotten a chance to play.
Exactly. And the one time he was given his shot, Redden was signed and Cole split time with Russell.

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07-12-2013, 10:19 AM
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I agree with what others have said. I don't think he's been given a real opportunity to succeed here yet. This past season he was set to get regular playing time, but it never happened after we acquired Redden and then Leopold. I think if he's given time to play regularly and gain chemistry with his d-partner, he can be a good NHL defenseman.

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07-12-2013, 12:44 PM
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Cole really hurt his timing with the club by not coming to Peoria the first year they wanted him to. I think he HAS had a few opportunities, and hasn't really distinguished himself one way or the other.

The type of defenseman he is becoming, isn't that big a part of Hitchcock's system. They already have Polak and Jackman. So there isn't a natural position for him in the 3 pairings at the moment. He was tried with Pietro, which was an optimistic stretch. He could have played up and seized that opportunity. Maybe at some point in his career he could be the guy for that pairing, but I kind of doubt it. Anyway, it didn't work very well for a few reasons.

Now, he's a depth player who will get a regular opportunity when someone goes down with injury.

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07-12-2013, 01:27 PM
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Jackman is still playing. He's been NHL ready for 2 years without a roster spot.

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07-13-2013, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by stlweir View Post
Hitchcock likes veteran DMen. The Blues kept Cole because he is a good cost control player and a good #7 defenseman. To date Cole has played conservatively when given ice time and we haven't seen him settle in and play his game with confidence. Several teams inquired about him at the trade deadline.
I think that this hits it on the head. He looks real conservative when on the ice and afraid to make a mistake. His physicality has backed up some and he does appear tentative carrying the puck.

All that being said, I think he could evolve into a Kevin Bieksa-lyte type (not quite as mean) of player, a player that is solid defensively but does not hurt you in the offensive end.

He needs a confidence boost. A coach telling him that he is going to playing for twenty games(maybe an injury) without having to sub in and out with the Redden's and Russell's of the world

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07-13-2013, 10:59 AM
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I think that this hits it on the head. He looks real conservative when on the ice and afraid to make a mistake. His physicality has backed up some and he does appear tentative carrying the puck.

All that being said, I think he could evolve into a Kevin Bieksa-lyte type (not quite as mean) of player, a player that is solid defensively but does not hurt you in the offensive end.

He needs a confidence boost. A coach telling him that he is going to playing for twenty games(maybe an injury) without having to sub in and out with the Redden's and Russell's of the world
I agree with this. Similar to what Detroit did with Brendan Smith last year. Smith was not very good at the beginning of the year, but the Red Wings stuck with him and gave him a long leash. By the end of the season and into the playoffs he was playing pretty well and looks to be slated for their top 4 next year. Sometimes young players just need confidence and reassurance that they won't be sitting in the pressbox if they make a couple of mistakes or have a couple bad games.

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07-13-2013, 11:45 AM
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I agree with this. Similar to what Detroit did with Brendan Smith last year. Smith was not very good at the beginning of the year, but the Red Wings stuck with him and gave him a long leash. By the end of the season and into the playoffs he was playing pretty well and looks to be slated for their top 4 next year. Sometimes young players just need confidence and reassurance that they won't be sitting in the pressbox if they make a couple of mistakes or have a couple bad games.
Agreed. Cole is certainly the type of player that needs to play through his bad habits. I really don't like the way the Blues handled he from the player's perspective. However, I can't particularly fault the Blues for going that route. The learning curve for a defenseman is much harder to swallow than for a forward, unless you are in the 7-8 range. IMO Cole never projected there.

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07-13-2013, 12:12 PM
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I think Cole will be a bottom pairing starter soon. One injury away from him starting. He will get his shot again. I think we have stunted his growth by not playing him regularly.

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07-13-2013, 12:17 PM
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Oilers fan wishing we could have got him too in the Perron trade... you have embarrassment of riches on D... think Cole would get big minutes here regularly... not enough 220 lbs beasts on our defense

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07-13-2013, 12:23 PM
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Oilers fan wishing we could have got him too in the Perron trade... you have embarrassment of riches on D... think Cole would get big minutes here regularly... not enough 220 lbs beasts on our defense


Perron + Cole for MPS + 1st and 2nd?

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07-13-2013, 12:29 PM
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I think Cole will be a bottom pairing starter soon. One injury away from him starting. He will get his shot again. I think we have stunted his growth by not playing him regularly.
I honestly was hoping we would trade him and keep Russell as the 7th after the Leopold signing.

It's because I like Cole and I don't think Hitchcock is a coach that will ever let him develop and play through his mistakes. Being a 7th defenseman is a waste for him IMO he could play on most teams bottom pairings with the potential to play on their 2nd pairings as well.

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07-13-2013, 06:03 PM
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Cole is in a Catch 22. He needs experience to get better, but he needs to be experienced to be in the Blues current lineup.

Quite frankly, he probably needs to be another team where he can play night in and night out so he can develop, but the Blues probably do not want to let him go for a token return. He is more valuable to them as a 7th d-man than a token return, but the situation is probably stunting his development. The Blues can't send him to the AHL or they risk losing him on waivers. I originally thought he was on the Polak development plan (who went up and down to the AHL), but they can't send him down.

But, as someone said, he is just one injury away from playing.

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