My first instinct when looking at this trade is trepidation. I really, really like Erik Cole as a player and also as a locker room presence. I think he did wonders for Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais last season on that number one line, but these are emotional feelings. Taking a step back I think I see what Bergevin is going for. Cole is a puck carrier. He's currently playing with Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller. Eller and Galchenyuk are puck carriers. Michael Ryder is a trigger man. If you're looking for a guy who can capitalize on those two players making plays, Ryder may be a better fit. Erik Cole is left handed but plays the right side. The Canadiens have two other right handed shots that can play the powerplay in Brian Gionta and Brendan Gallagher. Gallagher is doing really well, but Gionta isn't scoring right now, and his shot looks a little wonky to my eye. Ryder adds a 3rd right handed shooter who can score. Ryder gives the Canadiens extra cap space flexibility if they want to make a move this season, and is a UFA in the summer which allows Bergevin to wheel and deal to his heart's content.
Who will win the Michael Ryder for Erik Cole trade?
Habs Eyes On The Prize | Feb 26