Colorado Avalanche Defenseman Ian Cole Must Sit Out

SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 01: Colorado Avalanche Defenceman Ian Cole (28) during the NHL game between the Colorado Avalanche and the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on March 1, 2019 in San Jose, CA. (Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 01: Colorado Avalanche Defenceman Ian Cole (28) during the NHL game between the Colorado Avalanche and the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on March 1, 2019 in San Jose, CA. (Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ian Cole was ejected from the Anaheim Ducks game for a dangerous play. He should be disciplined.

The Colorado Avalanche lost defenseman Ian Cole to a game misconduct halfway through the game today, and most of us are relieved. We’re all homers who, just like any hockey fandom, argue vehemently that our players are perfect angels who deserve no supplemental discipline while opponents should be suspended left and right.

Well, I think Avalanche fans are howling just as loudly for Ian Cole to be suspended for his hit on Devin Shore as Anaheim Ducks fans. I’d like to say it’s because the hit was so clearly egregious that even blindly loyal Avs fans can’t justify it. To be clear, it is exactly that:

Shore had to be helped off the ice by his teammates, and he did not return to the game.

There’s no excuse for that play. It’s dangerous and dirty and I think the only reason Cole didn’t have to answer for it on the ice was because none of the Ducks bruisers could figure out how they’d get around that fishbowl Cole is wearing .

Oh, that fishbowl is courtesy of Tom Wilson after Cole made a similarly boneheaded move in front of the Washington Capitals’ bruiser a month ago. Clearly the beatdown and resultant orbital bone surgery taught him nothing.

I’d also forgotten about the knee-on-knee collision with New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson:

Ian Cole is a dirty player, and I don’t like my Avs players to be dirty. It’s one thing to play with passion like Gabriel Landeskog and Nikita Zadorov do. However, they don’t cross the line like Cole does.

So, yes, I’d like to say it’s only moral outrage that makes me want to see Ian Cole sit out several games for that hit on Shore. However, there’s also selfishness — the Colorado Avalanche are better without him. He had a clutch of good games at the beginning of the season, thus earning Jared Bednar’s trust, but he’s been awful since December.

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Case in point, Cole missed 11 games with his eye injury. In that time, Colorado went 6-2-3, which is not stellar, but it’s 14 points the team desperately needed. They’ve lost twice in regulation since Cole’s return.

No, it’s not all Cole’s fault. However, he makes bad defensive plays consistently. What’s more, he takes penalties every single game. No, really, the last time he went more than one game without taking a penalty was back in early January.

I was frustrated with the Avalanche for signing the 30-year-old to a three-year deal worth $4.25 million annually. Did we learn nothing from Brad Stuart and Francois Beauchemin?

Now that he’s showing himself to be a dirty player who’s costing the team, I really want him to sit. If by some miracle he escapes supplemental discipline, he should be up in the press box anyway.

Play Ryan Graves. I don’t know that he’s better — we don’t know that he’s better. But he’s younger, and the Colorado Avalanche are supposed to be committed to the youth movement. Let’s see what we’ve got in this promising young defenseman since we already know what we got in the grizzled — and apparently cranky — veteran.

While I’m in a ranty mood, I somehow missed this a few days ago:

I’m especially noting this line:

"“Bednar said Greer needs to show consistency in order to stick. Said his game in WPG stands out as his best game by far and he needs that level every night.”"

Wait, what? A 22-year-old rookie with just 15 NHL games to his name this season — averaging around 6 minutes of ice time — is inconsistent? What a surprise! It’s almost as if you expect the youngsters in the youth movement to be perfect.

I don’t know how they’re supposed to manage that when the veterans aren’t consistent — or are consistently bad like Cole and Greer’s replacement, Gabriel Bourque.

Besides, it sends the wrong message to the young guys. “Work hard, earn your chance in the NHL. Play well and get rewarded with… a demotion.” Or, in the case of Tyson Jost, “Make one little mistake, and you’re off to Loveland.” This ain’t 1995. These are Millennials — you got to know how to handle them if you want to succeed at development.

Next. The Semyon Varlamov Dilemma. dark

Development and letting the kids grow together needs to be the focus of this team. Yes, I’d love for the Colorado Avalanche to make the playoffs. But a third pairing defenseman and fourth liner aren’t the ones preventing that. Their veteran replacements aren’t either — but said vets are hindering the youth movement.