The Colorado Avalanche sent their veteran blueliner across the division, in return for two-way depth.
You knew there was going to be an odd man out.
With Erik Johnson and Bowen Byram back, the Avalanche traded defenseman Ian Cole to the Minnesota Wild for Greg Pateryn. Cole had played in the first two games, putting up no points against the Blues. He had been with the team since being signed in 2018.
The Avalanche get Pateryn, a pending UFA journeyman defenseman drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2007, with stops in Montreal, Dallas, and Minnesota along the way. Unlike Cole, Pateryn is a two-way defenseman, with great mobility and a specialty in size. His highest season came in 2018 with the Dallas Stars, where he scored 13 points in 73 games. He currently has two assists in three games.
Pateryn has had a shaky few months, starting with being unable to assist the Wild in the bubble last summer, undergoing surgery to be out until December. His third game back saw him hit with a $5000 fine for cross-checking Anaheim’s Sonny Milano yesterday.
Why did the Avalanche make this move?
Cole was gone. As much as the offensive defenseman still had to give, he was always going to be the odd man out. With his $4.5 million cap hit, and position on the third line, the Avalanche had room to give him up.
Neither Byram or Pateryn will make their Avs debut tonight, as Dennis Gilbert, the other piece from the Saad/Zadorov trade, was called up and will play on the third slot, a bizarre move as Gilbert is far below on the Avs chain of defensemen. Whether Byram is simply not ready yet, or Pateryn is unable to play, is unclear. With Cole gone, Byram gets a better chance to make the Avs full-time, with Pateryn, with his smaller cap hit, a more comfortable option if the rookie doesn’t pan out.
So in short:
- Ian Cole to Minnesota. We retain salary.
- Greg Pateryn is tough, has more points than Cole, and even though he will be on the taxi squad for the foreseeable future, has a likelihood to be balanced if Byram makes the team.
- Pateryn could bus to Los Angeles tonight, with shenanigans?
- Pateryn has a cat. You should know that.