Habs deal Cole to Stars for Ryder


Out of the fog and back to Montreal comes Michael Ryder.
Ronald Martinez, Getty Images

The Canadiens have traded forward Erik Cole to the Dallas Stars for Michael Ryder, who returns to Montreal, and a third-round draft pick this year.

To say that the deal is a stunner would be to understate the truth. It is also the first trade for new Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin.

“He was shocked, but it’s a place where he’s been and where he’s had success,” Bergevin said on a conference call Tuesday night. “He loves the city of Montreal. I told him we’re extremely happy to have him. He brings an asset to our team that I felt we could use – he’s already had success this year and last year in Dallas. He was surprised but happy.”

Bergevin added that “there’s a very good possibility” Ryder will be in the lineup Wednesday night when the Canadiens visit the Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN 690 Radio) and that he would help the team’s power play. The Canadiens rank 10th in the NHL on the power play with an 18.9 per cent success rate.

In 19 games this season with the Stars, Ryder posted 6-8-14 totals and was plus-4. A UFA at season’s end, Ryder is earning $3.5 million this season. Ryder is on a six-game point streak with two goals and seven assists in his last six games. His 14 points are the same as Canadiens team leader Max Pacioretty, who has 4-10-14 totals in 15 games.

“He’s a sniper, he won the Stanley Cup in Boston and he understands the market in Montreal,” Bergevin said.

The GM added: “Nothing against Erik (Cole), but (Ryder) helps us in areas we need right away.”

Bergevin also said that Cole’s comments before training camp about a possible early retirement didn’t factor in his decision to make the trade.

Cole, 34, who signed with the Canadiens before last season as an unrestricted free agent for four years and $18 million, was the Canadiens’ leading goal-scorer last season with 35, a career high. He played on the top line with Max Pacioretty and centre David Desharnais. He had three goals and three assists in 19 games this season.

Ryder, 32, was chosen by the Habs 216th overall, in the eighth round, of the 1998 draft. He eventually fell out of favour with the team, a healthy scratch for much of the 2008 playoffs. He signed for three seasons with the Boston Bruins before moving on to the Stars, where he scored 35 goals last season.

“Erik Cole is a top-six, power forward who skates well, adds size, and is under contract for the next two years,” Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said on the team’s website. “We thank Michael Ryder for his contributions and look forward to what Erik will bring to our group.”

Bergevin said that he is always looking to make the Canadiens better and didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on this deal despite the fact the Canadiens are in first place in the Eastern Conference.

“We’re happy to have him,” Bergevin said of Ryder. “He brings an asset to our team we can use. We don’t make trades on stats alone, but that was definitely a big plus. He’s already had success this year.”

Canadiens trade Cole to Stars for Ryder, by Dave Stubbs

Ryder has had great NHL career for an eighth-round draft pick, by Stu Cowan

Habs’ Bourque sidelined by a concussion, by Pat Hickey


  1. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …imagine if You are Cole, His wife, or Ryder (don’t know if He has since married), …being traded mid season, especially a compacted season like this …especially like Ryder …you’re on the road, in the middle of nowhere, like Columbus, with barely more than Your toothbrush and change of skivvies…or Cole’s wife, with kids, school, and God knows what other minutia of daily life, and You learn tomorrow Your beginning again 2000 miles away from where You did yesterday morning …out of the blue, without warning

    …amazing these Guys can concentrate on Their responsibilities with so many loose-ends going-on in their lives after such a trade

    • Strummer says:

      I have some empathy for them however that’s what they signed on for and they are millionaires because of it.

      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • Whatever says:

      I hear some of them are well paid to compensate for the inconvenience.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      That’s is why they get paid millions…I’m sure his wife is not that unhappy…

    • Bripro says:

      It’s funny you bring that up, Chris because last night, on RDS’s Antichambre, that was a primary topic of conversation.
      For some players, younger with fewer responsibilities, it has less of a negative effect as a player who’s been around a while, with family and the kids already set up in school.
      And as I listened to them go from discussing this to the millions they made, I didn’t shed a tear.
      One would have to think that players, with guidance from their agents during the early stages of their careers, would not only be conditioned or expecting this, but would learn to accept this as a trade-off for the oodles of money they’ll earn during the short portions of their lives.
      I don’t really feel sorry for them at all.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Imagine you’re earning $25M over 5 years.

    • chanchilla says:

      i mean, they probably wont pick up their family and kids in the middle of the school year and make them leave, cole will probably stay in a hotel til the end of the season.

  2. RetroMikey says:

    1, 6661 comments…wow…what’s the record here?

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  3. Loonie says:

    A request. Much like what should have happened when the Bruins decided to turn a hockey game into a WWE event the Habs should have responded by sending their fighters or guys capable of fighting to instigate altercations with the Bruins skilled players.

    And with that in mind I’d really like to see Prust, Moen, Armstrong and White target Grabovski, Kessel, Kadri and Van Riemsdyk.

    That’s how you answer a team who fights your skilled players. You fight theirs. And if the opposing team believes they’re a better team than you, it will stop the nonsense.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Now you’re talking!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      That usually ends up in big time suspensions but I don’t disagree with your logic. this team is not set up to play WWE style. We need to score goals and be aggressive on the forecheck.

      Our D is the biggest issue we will face tonight. They struggle against speed and hard forecheck.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • shiram says:

      With Prust on the first line that gives all the opportunity to try to ignite something, if that is indeed in the card for tonight.
      And while Prust is a good player, losing for 5 minutes is not as bad as losing the other players in our top 6 for 5 minutes.

  4. Loonie says:

    Damn double post.

    • Chuck says:

      We had enough of those against Ottawa.

      Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  5. 25insight says:

    Lets get this thread to 2000 people! You know you’re capable!

    Also, I want Grabovski’s head on a platter, stuffed, with an apple in his mouth, and roasted to perfection. And I want Pacioretty to enjoy his Hannibal moment with a purr and deep glee.

  6. Loonie says:

    Anybody have a guess as to how wealthier Gallagher became in the last 24 hours?

  7. Rad says:

    I like the fact that Bergevin made this trade from a position of strength, i.e., with the Habs leading their division. Too often, trades are made from weakness, thereby guaranteeing that the weak team gets fleeced, e.g. Tomas Kaberle trade last year. Remember Gauthier making statements like “We believe in Scott Gomez” even when all the evidence pointed to the contrary. His rose-colored glasses did not improve the team. Bergevin on the other hand, is a realist, which bodes well for the Habs’ future. He sees that the team is still a work in progress, and needs to improve in certain areas before it becomes a legitimate top tier team.

  8. Strabo says:

    Ryder’s Inspiration?



    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

  9. Loonie says:

    If Kaberle’s bought out the team will now have $17 million in cap space in July. So how was this move needed from a Cap perspective?

    There are VERY few marquee free agents this summer. And the desirable pending free agents rarely make it to free agency.

    Who’s Bergevin going to go after? Iginla?

    I’m more inclined to think that he’s looking ahead more than one year here.

    Edit: Malkin, Gaborik, Datsyuk, Vanek, Stastny, the Sedins, Pominville and Bergeron scheduled for UFA status in 2014.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The guy I want would require a big chunk this summer, Perry.

    • Timo says:

      Oh please, no Iginla. The dude is another Eric Cole. He says all the right things but listening to the Flames fans he does very little. Another over the hill name.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      It also opens up the possibility of trades. If the cap does go down to $64M next year then a lot of teams will need to get rid of players.

      Take the Flyers.

      In 2013-2014 they have 16 players signed and only $2.2M in cap space.

      The Rangers will have $10M to sign 8 players, including McDonaugh, Stepan and Hagelin.

      The Canucks will have $3.8m to sign 8 players! The Lightning $6.4M to sign 9 players.

      Even with one buyout those teams and others will have to make trades.

      • Whatever says:

        Stupid trades motivated by panic that won’t require losing a roster player.

      • 25insight says:

        YES. This is bad for teams with low cap space and good for teams with high cap space. The most positive note of this trade is the cap space. We will have an opportunity to get a 30-40 goal scorer and a Hard-Nose D-man come trade deadline time.

    • Cardiac says:

      And out of that list, the only real players we’d have a shot at are Vanek (already overpaid), Stastney (huge decline in production the past two seasons) and Pominville (5.5 million for another 20-25 goal scorer?).

      If anyone thinks we will land Malkin, Datsyuk, Gaborik or the Sedins, they’re crazy.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

      • Loonie says:

        Jason Pominville is one of the best players in the NHL. And probably the most versatile of any player in the league.

        We’d be lucky to have him.

        • Cardiac says:

          I wouldn’t say he’s that elite, but it could promising having a hometown boy who’s put up decent numbers with a lackluster team. However, the way Buffalo has been throwing money around, he won’t come cheap.

          “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
          – Jerry Maguire

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          He would be a very good acquisition. Isn’t he the Sabres captain though?

    • Gerry H says:

      The UFA list is always more impressive looking 16 months out. How many of those guys will still be pending UFAs in 2014?

      • Cardiac says:

        Exactly! I can guarantee at least Malkin and Datsyuk will already be signed to long term contacts before July 1, 2014.

        “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
        – Jerry Maguire

  10. Habfan17 says:

    Unrestricted free agents that could potentially fit in well ad fill holes.
    Getzlaf at centre
    Stalberg at Left wing should make a solid 2nd left wing, speed and size. Bourque could be moved to the right side where he twice scored 27 goals.
    Scott Hannan at defence would be cheap and a solid 6th dman

    Having Galchnyuk, Getzlaf and Eller at centre would give the Habs size, skill and solid defence. Possibly Nattinen as the 4th line centre, Great on faceoffs and also has size.

    On the right side, Gallagher, Bourque, Kristo, White

    On the left, Patches Stalberg, Prust and Moen.


    • Cardiac says:

      Um, Pleks is still on the books for another three years and Gionta for one. What are you going to do with them? Also, DD and White?

      Put the xBox controller down and step away slowly…

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Only guys I see fitting MB’s profile are Perry and Clarkson…

  11. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Gionta ??? …a poor work ethic ???

    …what planet did I wake up on this morning ???

  12. HabFanSince72 says:

    From Dallas’ standpoint this trade looks a lot like the Kaberle – Spacek trade we made last year.

    Once again – thanks Bob.

  13. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I’m retired, WHAT ??? are Your excuses ??? 🙂

  14. 123456 says:

    A good comment from the Dallas article Burly linked:

    One thing the trade strongly implies is the front office doesn’t believe they can attract veteran free agents. Trade Ryder (UFA) for a similar player with 2 years of contract they can control? Are they implying they could do no better than a 34 year old Erik Cole in free agency, and that was also worth throwing in q 3rd round draft pick?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      While it is great that we may have reaped the reward of getting his best year out of the 4 we did pay for it. Cole earned $6million in the first year and gets $4mill per season the rest of the way, while hitting cap at 4.5.

      Also we paid a $2mill bonus this season, i am not sure how bonuses were prorated for this season.

      Essentially the Dallas team is getting the cheapest 2 years and half of the contract. Have to wonder how much of their decision was made on budget.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Didn’t Ryder himself sign in Dallas as a free agent? What about Jagr and Ray Whitney?

  15. Timo says:

    All I really have to say re this trade is that I am disappointed about the number of paper plane jokes. Out of nearly 2000 comments there is only a handful. Talk about missing THE point of the trade.

  16. Bripro says:

    We’re up to 1600 comments.
    Doesn’t anyone work around here?

  17. Bripro says:

    So now I have to get my wife to take “Koivu” off of my jersey.
    Because I refuse to buy anything else sponsored or signed by the NHL.

  18. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …just woke-up and find it’s going-on 2000 comments …well, this got Our hyper-active juices flowing, didn’t it ? 🙂

  19. ont fan says:

    Have to think Cole and MB had a talk a few weeks ago and neither one was happy. Dallas can’t get free agents any easier than the Habs. So Dallas is willing to get Cole for the next 2 1\2 years and the Habs get a short term sniper, a 3rd and cap space. A win win.

  20. Loonie says:

    I’m indifferent about this trade in the short term. If Cole was going to be on the third line for the remainder of the season then adding Ryder in his place fills a void on the right wing and gives the team more versatility in how they attack. Having said that Cole brings more than scoring. Ryder isn’t especially physical and isn’t exactly known for a strong defensive game.

    He does get the puck off of his stick quicker than Cole but isn’t as fast.

    Beyond this year it’s probably a very good trade for the reasons that many have pointed out(cap space, draft pick).

    The one thing I don’t agree with is that people seem to think we’ll get Ryder at a bargain next season. He scored 35 goals last year, he’ll probably be looking for one big contract before his career’s over and this is the time to get it.

    Also, I don’t buy Craig Button’s opinion that this was to free up cap space for Desharnais. With four centermen on the current roster capable of playing on the top three lines and Bournival and Dumont showing promise there is no need to make moves to keep Desharnais. If anything, the team should be making moves with his exit in mind.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      A sensible response. This isn’t going into the annals of Habs trades. But what else are we going to talk about? Snow in the GTA?

    • alfieturcotte says:

      Deharnais is a keeper and is only going to get better. He plays smart, hustles, and makes those on his line very, very good (eg: Cole and his 35 goals). They need to resign him.

      • Loonie says:

        He isn’t better offensively than Plekanec or Galchenyuk and Eller’s proving that he’s his equal if not superior offensively. Desharnais is only better defensively than Galchenyuk and that will very likely change in the near future.

        He’s expendable.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Almost everyone is expendable.
          I’d probably only say that 2-4 players are untouchable, and it’s probably less than that.

          Go Habs Go!!

          “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

          • Loonie says:

            Price, Subban, Pacioretty and Galchenyuk in my opinion.

            My point was merely that with four capable two way centremen on the roster and two strong two way centremen in Hamilton who are very close to being ready, there’s no logic in acquiring cap space to keep Desharnais.

  21. habfan53 says:

    For the record I’m glad he’s back . I always thought that 99 goals in the St-Flannel was just not right.
    It will be interesting to hear Carbonneau’s take on the trade tonight whether it be during the game or on Antichambre afterwards.
    Yes I know one of the knocks against him was his defence -25 and -5 under Carbonneau BUT +28 and +3 under Julien in Boston
    and +17 and +4 in Dallas.
    As has been said statistically Ryder and Cole are on a par it is their style that is different. At 6′ 200 lbs he is not small but does not go to the dirty areas like Cole did.
    Based on his carrer scoring in 30% of his games that would mean 9 more goals this year however I expect him to pot another 14 for a total of 20.
    I will miss Cole but I’m glad Michael is back.

    Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I agree with that. Nothing against DD, but no reason to go out of your way to make room for him.
      As long as it all plays out in the best way for the Habs, I don’t really mind who stays and who goes.
      I don’t find myself getting attached to players like I did when I was younger, although I do feel a little bad for the players that want to stay who wind up getting traded.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  22. The Dude says:

    Well ,I’m not a fan of the trade but I’m happy for the Habs “Newfoundland fan division”. Now all we need is a couple more Muslim,Hindu ,Jewish and Gay athletes to make all our fan base happy…wait a minute we’re playing that team tonight 🙂

  23. HardHabits says:

    I think the lines will be:


    • shiram says:

      I wish we had someone with more of a scoring touch instead of Prust on the first line, but looking over at Ryder’s ice time in Dallas it’s probably best he stays on the second line with probably first wave of PP.
      DD’s line looks solid, the kids line with Eller looks great to me and the fourth is quite alright.

    • Loonie says:

      I’d be shocked if Ryder didn’t start off on the third line.

  24. frontenac1 says:

    My guess is Ryder will be focused on racking goals up this year.He has no choice. He is UFA this summer.He will be playing for his next contract.I like that.

  25. shiram says:

    Don’t expect Ryder to be a consistent player for the Habs, his contribution will come on the score sheet, but he can score in bunches as well as go on scoring droughts.
    That said if we can all live with some lesser effort games, he brings a worthwhile element to the team that was missing since Cammy left, a legitimate sniper.

  26. Les Canayens says:

    When watching l’Antichambre last night, Mathieu Darche came across as someone who transpires negativity, and seems to have that slight sense of superiority but still feels he’s not good enough when he speaks. Kind of glad he’s not a Hab anymore.

    Him getting all the PP time during JM’s tenure sure made the rest of the roster fume.

  27. Sportfan says:

    Do you think the Rangers might let Torts go if the Rangers continue a free fall?
    Also how hard would it be to fire him, it seems like he’d kill you if you did it


  28. RockinRey says:

    All i can say is I saw a piece about Ryder the other day and was going to float the idea the Habs should take a flyer on him. The annual salary is basically a wash.

    They needed more scoring but sacrifice a bigger body in Cole( that was not playing like one) . They need to also add more grit but I think Ryder can add some scoring balance. The caveat is that he is very streaky!!! Interesting deal.

    • nunacanadien says:

      That’s the problem with Montreal, none of their big players give a damn when the captain is no taller than their smallest kid sister, and it’s sad when Gionta has to step up on a pedestal to be seen even while wearing his skates. Then we as fans wonder why our habs who shine when the win against smaller less physical teams basically clam up and lose against bigger teams.

      Time to get rid of Gionta, otherwise any player of any size we sign will only play up to the level of Gionta….bottom feeders we want to remain then?

  29. habstrinifan says:

    WOW! The poll is so lopsided in favour of the deal.

    On an unrelated note, I know just how hamstrung the Members of the U.S. Congress feel. I have been in the position where I have really wanted to take a pay-cut to go along with all the ‘little people’ but just couldnt do it. They are so troubled that they would have had to pass a special law to cuttheir pay… It’s not easy being a politician.

  30. likehoy says:

    if we’re talking snipers.. who would you rather have, cammalleri or ryder?

  31. habsfan0 says:

    Air Canada #7894 Columbus-Toronto.
    Scheduled to arrive Pearson International Airport @12:56pm.
    On time as of now.
    Could that be Ryder’s flight?

    • Les Canayens says:

      If the plane skids to a stop in front of the gate, that’s not him in there.

      If the plane goes around the whole runway when slowly slide next to the gate, that’s him.

  32. The_Franchise31 says:

    Why would you buy a chucky jersey? I’ll bet he switches to 94 next year. That’s when I’ll order mine… From china

  33. Old Bald Bird says:

    I will always appreciate Cole for being such a bright spot last season. He was fantastic. OTOH, there’s something nice about seeing Ryder repatriated. So, I will miss Cole a lot (I think he’s far from done), and I will look forward to seeing what Ryder can bring.

    • nunacanadien says:

      Cole’s badmouthing and poison showed during the playoffs. Honestly it did. Now we know what poisoned the room when the Kosty boys were here…..interesting. Now we wait and see if the habs work ethic improves. Mind you Therrien’s got to basically hire big mafia goons to scare our bigger players into actually using their size in games, as opposed to letting the other team basically knock Gionta on his back, which doesn’t take much, all they have to do is skate fast beside Gionta and the sheer weight of air knocks his fragile butt on the ice!

  34. HardHabits says:

    How dare Gallagher take #11 so soon after Gomez is gone!!!

  35. Irishhabsfan says:

    Welcome back, I think the naysayers will change their minds after a couple of weeks, Hope he is still around next season!

  36. PrimeTime says:

    I wonder how Lindy Ruff would do facing the NYR media replacing the soon to be fired Torts??

  37. HabFanSince72 says:

    I bet Cole will produce in Dallas.

    The problem here is that he was no longer willing to pay the price. His style of play is very painful and this year he had changed. Even the last game he’d carry the puck down the wing and instead of taking the check and barreling towards goal he would always stop short and look to pass.

    The trade will wake him up and he won’t want to keep coasting.

    Expect the old Cole for the rest of the season. But would he have morphed back into that player if he had stayed here?

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Last year was his best year in the NHL by a long shot. I think he will wake up as you suggest but I don’t think he will ever be as good as he was last year. That line was just on fire last year

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • nunacanadien says:

        Why bother to try and take a check in Montreal when Gionta basically the captain lets himself be taken out time and again, and Prust has learnt this too soon. Time to get rid of the coasters like Gionta who diminish and encourages a poor work ethic in Montreal.

  38. HardHabits says:

    Now all we need is to get Koivu and Higgins back.

  39. JF says:

    There is a snowstorm in and around the Toronto area, and a lot of flights have been cancelled. If Ryder did not fly up last night, chances are he won’t make it, which would leave us short a forward. Does this mean we’ll see Yannick Weber on the fourth line?

  40. veryhabby says:

    So if he makes it to town today (I live in TO- lots of flights cancelled). Then where would you put him in the line up. Yes Bourque being out does factor into this. I had thought, “well he just takes Cole’s spot on the 3rd line”. But my 12 yr old is like…”Mom, why would you do that if he’s now your “only sniper”?” You have to play him with your top centre. Who is your top center?” (he asked cause he’s a Sens fan). I answered Pleks. So my son says then expect Ryder/Pleks/Gionta. Maybe he’s right?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If he doesn’t make it, they could always bring Blunden up from Hamilton, in fact I could give him a ride, all I ask for is a couple of tix for my troubles. 🙂

    • coutNY says:

      Ryder/Pleks/Gionta would have to right wingers in Gio & Ryder? thinking he’s with Gally and Eller (our future 1st line center)… the experiment when they tried Ryder with Kovy and Koivu failed miserably last time around (see “paper airplanes from the presser” as a reference). but who knows… maybe we could see it on the PP thought.

      2nd I think we would see a Pax/ DD/ Ryder… before Ryder/Pleks/Gionta

    • issie74 says:

      Well if my memory serves me … he played on the third line in Boston,with Kelly & Peverley.


  41. habstrinifan says:

    Maybe becaue I am just old and ornery.. but I just have this weird feeling that something isn’t exactly right with our little bunch of merrymen. I have this feeling that just wont go away that if the HABS run into anythinh like a 3 game losing streak… all Hell could break loose.

  42. Mustang says:

    It is sad to see Cole go as he has been a good asset for the Habs organization but this is a very good trade. Ryder production should be very similar to what we could expect Cole to produce and of course, his cap hit is $1M less. In addition Cole had 2 more years on his contract while Ryder will be an UFA at the end of the season. This final point cannot be over looked as the cap will be reduced for next season and the Habs may need the extra room. I have the feeling that this trade is the first step of a plan being put in place by MB, that will play out over the next year or two. Time will tell.

  43. HAB - Have A Beer says:

    Some people on here is never happy. If we brought in Stamkos you’d find fault with him. Ryder is no worst than any player on this team. a guy that can put up 14 points in 19 games. Not to shabby in my books. Another good move Mark.

    Cole is gone because he was a complainer behind the scenes. MB don’t want players like that. If you don’t want to play in Montreal. move on. Best Hockey city in the world.

    • nunacanadien says:

      But then what good is the GM if he insists that regular NHL players like Cole have to put up with and shut up over midget captains like Gionta who basically give up after the first period?

  44. von says:

    @JohnLuTSNMtl: #Habs advise that Ryder takes back his old 73 and Gallagher will now wear 11. Fitting that a tenacious, skilled player will again sport 11.

    “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

  45. habsnyc says:

    Why is anyone reading more into this trade than it is? Cole accepted a trade. Montreal got cap space. Post the lockout, Montreal can now be rid of three big contracts to older players. This is how teams rebuild.

    Ryder has a lot of value at the deadline. He is a multiple time 30 goal scorer, who succeeded with three different organizations and had 17 playoffs points in his Cup winning season. If he continues to put up numbers in Montreal, he could go for a first round pick at the deadline.

    This creates awesome optionality for Montreal at the trade deadline this year and in the off season. I view this as hands down one of the best moves a GM could make. I am hugely impressed with this deal.

    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • sims says:

      First round pick at the deadline?

      Burkie…is that you?

      • habsnyc says:

        Kostitsyn went for a second and a fifth round pick. He had no 30 goal seasons, no ring, no history of doing well wherever he went and little playoff experience. Kostitsyn was on an 18 goal pace the season he was traded. Ryder is on a 26 goal pace. Ryder is a huge asset at the trade deadline. He is worth more than a second and a fifth.

        Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Let’s say Montreal has nailed down a playoff spot by the trade deadline. How many fans would understand and accept that Ryder gets traded thereby pretty well guaranteeing a first round exit?

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        I’ll tell you who wouldn’t like it. The Tankmeister – that’s who.

      • habsnyc says:

        Optionality has value. Let’s say the trade was not done and Cole continued to play poorly. Was Montreal gauranteed a first round exit? Maybe Montreal makes a deadline trade to add a forward and then flips Ryder for a pick. This is optionality. It is a chance to do something creative or clever to help the team based on future circumstances. It does not mean Montreal has to do anything.

        Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • Depends what we deal for him — if we land a 1st-round pick, I’ll be okay with it.

        This was never going to be the year we won it all, and that’s all the more true if we’re just one good player away from a first round exit.

        Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

        • boing007 says:

          He just got here, hasn’t played a game yet and already you’re speculating about what to do with him at the trade deadline. On verra bien. We shall see what we shall see.

          Richard R
          Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  46. coutNY says:

    Blues brothers redux 2013? Hey Ryder were putting the band back together….

    Anyhow, I think Cole’s presents will be missed. Although, his points were down he was a workhorse on boards and in front of the net. Made it hard on Defenses to play against with his grit, he opened up lanes for others with more finess to work. Would have been a good playoffs type guy when things get tight and gritty. Good luck Cole…

    Oh well, bringing in an old whipping boy seems like a risky move IMO… let’s hope things go better than last time… at least if they don’t the space will free up and maybe we get a better draft pick… Not wishing for things to go this way, but will MB get railroaded for this move if things go south? With a team on top of the east playing descent hockey, albeit a volital posiiton with Boston having games in hand and their inability to win against divisional opponents at the moment.

    • nunacanadien says:

      Cole like the rest of the bigger players on the habs would give up once our so called higher paid players would get checked and end up on their backs.

      Maybe it’s time Bergevin, you stop paying top dollar for mighty midgets and concentrate on paying regular money to regular NHL players.

  47. Luke says:

    Here’s my take:

    Ryder is a sniper, Cole is a crasher.

    Habs have Crashers (Bourque, Max, Gallagher, Prust)
    Habs have ‘tweeners (Plek, Gionta, Eller)
    They don’t have a Sniper.
    They don’t have that guy who has a real knack for getting the puck through screens and on net. A guy who seems to fluke goals through with ‘seeing-eye’ and bad angle shots. Ryder can do that.

    (Galchenyuk, once he finds his range on that deadly wrister will be a totally different player so I don’t know where to put him)

  48. Habsrule1 says:

    May as well post this up here for those thinking one team fleeced the other somehow.

    Ryder – 650 games – 203 goals, 207 assists for 410 points .63 ppg
    Cole – 721 games – 222 goals, 235 assists for 457 points .63 ppg

    Pretty even stats wise, but the Habs win the trade because they have the player who is currently better and both salaries are off the cap at season’s end.
    Not to mention the draft pick.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  49. Saltwater Cowboy says:

    Can’t wait to see what Carbo says about Ryder comming back to Montreal.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      and starts scoring

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • nunacanadien says:

        The difference is the habs were nothing but a rag tag bunch of mighty midgets when Ryder was here. Ryder can score when he is on a team of regular sized NHL players, Boston showcasing his real talent. Hopefully with the habs moving slightly away from their experiment to see if mighty midgets can play in the NHL, that Ryder can once again shine. Mind you that is if Bergevin stops stocking the habs with mighty midgets. The Smurfs as the habs are now known as among many, has a proud history of losing these past 20 years as any small team would enjoy such a losing record in the nhL, where size does indeed matter if you want to make it into the playoffs and win a cup.

    • von says:

      Thanking his stars that he’s in-studio and not in Marc Denis’ spot. (no pun intended)


      “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

  50. Ian Cobb says:

    Belleville Bulls
    Subban named CHL Goaltender of the Week
    Subban named CHL Goaltender of the Week
    Malcolm Subban has been named the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week after wins over Barrie, Peterborough and Ottawa

    • Mad Habber says:

      err..stupid Bruins…

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I wasn’t impressed with Malcolm Subban at the world Jr tourney at all. Not saying he isn’t a good goalie but he isn’t anywhere near as good as PK was when he played in that tournament.

      I am sure he will improve but he is no Carey Price

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Patrick Roy wasn’t the greatest in International tournaments either.
        Don’t let that tournament skew your view of Malcolm Subban.
        Roy turned out ok.

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

        • nunacanadien says:

          Wouldn’t that be a bonus and improve the work ethic on the habs to have two hard working brothers? We all know the benefit of brotherly love on the habs dynasty, the Richards, the Mahovalichs come to mind. But what good is the work ethic if the habs keep signing mighty midgets like Gionta who bascially create a midas touch to this team, and our dismal 20 year record so far has shown this to be the case. The habs lose because we continue to think midgets can score.

  51. habs-fan-84 says:

    My 2 cents

    I didn’t like seeing Ryder traded in the first place. At the time he was one of the few players on this team with some size. Ok, at the time he wasn’t having the greatest of seasons, but I prefer to patient with players (especially those who have had two consecutive 30 goal seasons – the two years previous). Seeing Ryder come up clutch for the Bruins against us a couple years back in the playoffs was painful. It will be great to have Ryder and his wicked wrist shot back! Welcome back Ryder. Also, if I’m not mistaken he played under MT 1.0…if that’s the case, MT gets another ally and the team gets another quality player to buy into the system.

    With regards to Cole it’s kind of sad really, last year this guy was on fire, easily our most consistent and best player. A great team guy who made sure Leblanc’s parents were at his first NHL game. Simply put, I had a man crush on Cole last year.

    …then the lockout happens….some of the stuff Cole said during the lockout really left a bad taste in my mouth. I was hoping his play would make me forget his comments during the lockout…unfortunately his play this year left much to be desired. That said, I was still willing to give Cole the benefit of the doubt and assumed he wold eventually pick things back up. I guess things were not meant to be. That said, I think Cole’s time here was good for Pacioretty and some of the other younger players on the team. Best of luck to ya Erik.

    At the end of the day, I think this is probably a good trade for the Habs (as sad as it is to see Cole leave).

    Alright, well here’s hoping for a big Habs win tonight with Ryder in the lineup!


    • von says:

      Um, Ryder was never traded. The Habs never made him an offer before he became a UFA and he signed with Boston that summer.


      “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Well say ,should be interesting to see Chucky with ryder and gally

  52. habsfan0 says:

    Has Michael Ryder arrived in Toronto yet?

  53. sulham44 says:

    Cole had a hell of season for the Habs last year, but Bergevin robbed Dallas on this one. In return he got the same production, a third round pick, and badly needed/extremely valuable flexibility heading into the lower cap. Shrewdest move by a Habs GM in a long time. Well played, Sir.

    • von says:

      Agreed. With Trevor Timmins running the draft, I think this trade will be looked at as a major win by July.

      I wonder if a trade pick would have been going to Dallas if PG or Gainey was still GM…

      “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

      • nunacanadien says:

        If only we could convince Timmins that small is not the way to go. TIme to scrap your theme park ride of only chasing smaller players Timmins. Get with the Bergevin times, we want real NHL caliber players on the habs. Enough of the smurfs already!

    • habsnyc says:

      100% agree.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  54. HabinBurlington says:

    An advantage Marc Bergevin has is that he is new on the job, and essentially has a “couple” of free pass seasons. This trade can only be done by a GM confident that he has the organizations support and patience to work with his plan. There is no way PG makes this trade if indeed he is still here, for the simple reason that his term would be at the end of its rope and his only goal would be to make the playoffs.

    It is a strange dynamic when a new GM takes over a team. Essentially ownership and fans are forced to take a step back and be patient. The fact that the team is playing so well during this transition period seems unique to me.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      PG was in panic mode last year….Everyone knew it when they picked up Kabrele. Yes, Kabrele could help them last year but a good GM looks at a 5 year plan and there was no way Kabrele was going to be good with this team after last year. A good GM would have saw that and just let the season play out. It isn’t like we moved up the standings with his addition either.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • nunacanadien says:

        I disgree, Ryder fit the mold for the Habs ownership committee that only wants to have 6 foot tall and less than 200 pound players for some reason.

        That stupid weird experiment has to stop if we want to win a cup. This downsizing of the size of players for the habs has gone on now since Gillette’s days. This has to stop.

        Time for the habs to sign real NHL players who can shove and push back the way Cole did when he first came. But hey if you can be a Gomez or a Gionta or a smallish Prust and get shoved around and the coach doesn’t care, why should a regular sized player like Cole give a damn?

  55. Stormin says:

    Ryder is a damn good goalie as well, as many of us remember his save kept us from advancing.
    Hope he back checks hard he does have a tendency to float a few strides during offense to defense transition, mostly not reading the integrity of the potential opposing rush.

  56. 24 Cups says:

    Close to 1500 posts without this thread being a game blog. I wonder, is that some kind of HI/O record?

    It’s also quite unusual that there has been no mention of the Leaf game tonight by any posters.

  57. Habsrule1 says:

    I really liked Cole, but it’s hard to see a downside to this deal. They scored 35 goals each last year, and this year Cole has 6 points and Ryder has 14.
    Leadership? We have enough guys to provide that, and who’s to say Ryder can’t provide some. I’m not sure how much Ryder floats or if he’s lazy, but I assume he has matured some, and I doubt MT will let him continue to be lazy. If he buys in, he should do well here.
    Toughness? Besides going to the net, which was great, Cole showed very little toughness, despite his size.
    Then there’s the fact that both salaries are off the cap at season’s end, so MB can address whatever needs he thinks the team has.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  58. SmartDog says:

    – Cheaper
    – More points
    – Likely to help the power play
    – Low risk (short contract)
    – A playoff performer

    How can some people not see this? What exactly has Cole done so far this season that we are going to miss?

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  59. Gerry H says:

    So this is what smart, decisive management feels like.

    Cole was my absolute favourite player to watch last year. He was intense, effective and reliable. That said, there were tons of legitimate reasons to question his value going forward. His persistent pattern of slow starts can’t be written off as a quirk. They cost his teams production that could influence the final result – mightily if they fall just short of the playoffs. Couple that with his rumination about retiring early and you have to wonder if he had motivational problems. It’s all well and good to be competitive enough to give your all on the ice in a game situation, but it takes a deeper (and equally necessary) level of motivation to give your all in the gym and on the ice in the off-season and during work stoppages. Finally, MT and MB’s team concept relies heavily on solidarity. I have no idea what Cole was like in the room, but his calling out of his team mates early in the season, when he himself was hardly sparkling, doesn’t strike me as putting him on the path to team leadership. Actions, not words, Erik.

    Ryder is not a lock to replace Cole’s output and he is far less physical and no upgrade on the defensive side. On the other hand, he shoots right, is a great finisher, a bit younger, a bit cheaper and can be re-evaluated at season’s end when his contract runs out, greatly relieving the cap squeeze MB inherited. With the bonus 3rd round pick, this deal just makes too much sense to second guess.

  60. derfab says:

    A difficult and gutsy move would involve Markov. He has magic hands and vision but his mobility and speed have suffered significantly. He is not physical enough to play a supporting role and it is only a question of time before he is surpassed by a younger player. If we could get an imposing, physical d-man and and 2 picks, I would take it.

    • Habfan17 says:

      A playoff team may want to take on Markov if they think it will put them over the top. He hasn’t played the last two seasons really, so it would not hurt much letting him go if they can get something very good in return. If Gill got us a 2nd round, what would a legitimate play off team give up?


      • nunacanadien says:

        Markov for Halak. We need an answer to when Price buckles when our mighty midgets on the team buckle. Ever notice Price gives up when Gionta, Prust and other smaller players get pushed around and off the puck?

  61. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Here’s a finance analogy. One mistake I’ve made in investing has been to buy a stock and not sell it when it has increased in value. I would greedily hold on and the stock price would then drop. In the end, I would lose when I could have made a profit easily.

    My point? MB sold as the stock (Cole) looked like it was declining. In the end, the Habs made a profit with Cole’s production last year. Now, MB transferred the money (Cole’s cap space) into a short term 2-4 month GIC (Ryder) and will reinvest the money in the summer (UFA/RFA).

  62. Habsssssssswin says:

    Ryder will play backup to Carey Price !!!!


  63. SmartDog says:

    I like this trade.
    Therrien is just the guy to kick Ryder’s a$$!

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  64. Ian Cobb says:

    Therrien does not appreciate creative D,. But being Ryder plays up front, he will let Ryder be creative on the power play and on the wing.
    Carbo destroyed his game, and that is why he was moved.

  65. nellis13 says:

    they should have found a way to make cole want to keep playing in montreal. that’s what management`s supposed to do. would anyone be happy if this trade happened last year? a power forward like cole is hard to replace. the league is filled with ryders. it’s a bad move made for the wrong reasons.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Not hard to replace him when all his power is gone my friend. Cole was not a happy camper with the new regime.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      The league is not filled with 30 plus goal scorer’s.

      Have you seen our roster the last 10 years? Not too many 30 plus goal guys

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • nunacanadien says:

        But it’s hard to be a bigger player always defending against the league when any team worth anything comes to Montreal they push Gionta, Prust and DD around, basically our forward lines get shut down cause hey they are smurfs!

    • habstrinifan says:

      Totally agree with you asking what the response would have been if PG had made this exact trade at a similar time.

      Posters can defend the trade based on CAP considerationes and planning for the future etc… but to evaluate both players as hockey players and come up saying that Ryder is a ‘shooter’ (implying Cole is not or that Ryder is a better player is absolutely revisionist history and flies in the face of their NHL careers.

      This is a strange trade even if it can be described as a necessary one based on MB’s cap and future plans.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        A smart GM makes moves thinking 5 years down the road. This was a smart move. We are not cup contenders and Cole was struggling this year. We are able to get more for him now than if it continues into the off season.

        Ryder is a sniper and we really lack goal scoring. Ryder will light it up this year I think. Not sure he will be a hab next year though

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I share your concerns, but for some reason have a somewhat blind faith in what MB and Dudley perceive to be the future of this team. I have mentioned before here that the great start to this season may have been a little too good given what MB probably had for a long term plan.

        As others have said, he has large stones to make this move when he did. I suspect this trade looks much better next season. In the short term I am not happy, but don’t disagree with the move.

      • Mad Habber says:

        No question Cole is the better player, but trades are no longer just about the players. Its strange, but not really a terrible trade.

        • nunacanadien says:

          It has to do with Cole basically giving up knowing the habs overpay smurfs and basically let other teams own the habs. If it wasn’t for Price we’d see the horrible defense we have once our mighty smurf forwards give up the puck.

    • SmartDog says:

      – not producing
      – aging
      – disgruntled

      Hmm…… yes, they should’ve BEGGED him to stay.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Mattyleg says:

      Management isn’t supposed to make players want to stay here. Management is supposed to create a winning team.
      Nobody would have been happy if this trade had been made last year because Cole was our top scorer last year. THIS year, Cole was behind Travis Moen in points.

      The league is filled with Ryders? Only 10 players scored more goals than Ryder last season.

      What’s ‘the wrong reason’?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  66. Hobie Hansen says:

    Cole had a dynamite season last year and he was one of a few forwards that fit that power forward mold. We’re now left with Pacioretty and Bourque who can consistently go into a corner and come out with a puck. And Bourque has a concussion.

    Am I thrilled about the move, no. Do I understand and think Bergevin made the right decision, yes. There is a good chance Cole has begun to slow down or will over the next 2 1/2 years and we could have been stuck paying a bad contract.

    I don’t think replacing Cole with Ryder for 30 games is going to make a huge difference. Maybe we go into a playoff series against a team like the Bruins and get muscled off the puck but I doubt Cole alone would have made a huge difference.

    There’s a big list of UFAs this summer that I’m pretty excited about. Bergevin is just beginning to put his fingerprint on the club and although I don’t care if we’re the biggest/toughest team in the league, I hope he goes after some larger but skilled players cuz we are fairly small.

    • Mad Habber says:

      I think this deal is all about the contracts. A lot of people said Gauthier overpaid for Cole when he signed him last year. Cole went on to have a great season and it quieted them down. He hasn’t produced this year and I don’t think it would be long before doubts started up again. So dealing Cole for a UFA (with better stats) and smaller contract is a pretty good thing.

      My guess is if Ryder doesn’t gel with Therrien he won’t be re-signed. It gives Bergevin a chance to go out and find someone with the five million he saves on the Cole contract. Plus a 3rd rounder for Timmins to find something.

      • nunacanadien says:

        Let’s not waste this deal and let’s ask Trevor Timmins to stop drafting small players. What is this kick that the habs are on these past twenty years of only chasing after the smallest lightest players?

  67. derfab says:

    It was just a question of time before Bergevin made a move to prove himself. Ryder is a good player who has been unfairly criticized, and so is Cole. The 3rd rounder almost makes it even but I say Dallas wins on this one. Mtl saves some cash and Ryder will score some big goals but Cole is still the superior player.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Not sure I agree. The players are pretty even…same # of goals last year, and Ryder is younger. Seems Habs get the better player currently and then they can spend the $4.5M any way they want in the summer.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • habstrinifan says:

        I dont see how you can look at both careers… impac wise.. and call them even.. And Ryder is only what 2 years younger so the age difference aint that great.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          How about stats wise?
          Ryder – 650 games – 203 goals, 207 assists for 410 points .63 ppg
          Cole – 721 games – 222 goals, 235 assists for 457 points .63 ppg

          Can will call that even?

          Go Habs Go!!

          “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

          • nunacanadien says:

            How about a significant drop in size for the habs, having Cole meant the habs were above 6 feet in average, now they are back to being the mighty smurfs yet again! What the F? Bergevin enough of these mighty shrimps, it’s bad enough our captain gets pushed around!

  68. Saltwater Cowboy says:

    Hey Cal:

    “Ryder’s -25 in 06/07 and then his lackadaisical attitude in 07/08 led to Carbonneau’s dislike, I think.”

    Well Cal, Rydcer scored 30 goals in 06/07. Were you around Ryder to see his lackadaisical attitude?

    Well do more thinking before you post such foolishness!

  69. Ozmodiar says:

    Great move by MB.

    This year:
    If both players continue to play as well as they have been so far this year, then we’re a better team already. Cole was basically a non-factor in the team’s success so far this year while Ryder instantly becomes our leading scorer (with #67). If Cole regains his form from last year, it’s a wash. We lose the burst down the right side to the net, but we gain a sniper’s shot which will help the PP. Cole, despite his size, isn’t overly physical. MB managed to shed salary without sacrificing this surprisingly successful season.

    Next year:
    The extra cap space is huge in this deal, especially with the cap going down. This gives MB the flexibility to target a free agent or a player in a trade. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a RW’er, like Perry. Perhaps management think they can get by with Gio, Gally, Kristo (yes, if signed), Leblanc, Bourque (who can play RW). If they do try to acquire a RW, a re-signed Ryder might be plan B. Something tells me MB has something in mind.

    Mitigated Risk:
    Cole is 34 and has over 2 years remaining on his deal. At some point, he’s going to show signs of wearing down. This year he came out of the gate looking out of shape and/or disinterested. Management could have crossed their fingers and hoped he was “starting slowly”, but instead decided not to take the chance. If he doesn’t regain his old form, it will be JN and Gainey’s problem.

    We get a 3rd round pick and have a Newfie!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t disagree with your synopsis of the trade, but there is downside as well.

      Cole plays a sneaky physical game in how he plays in front of the net, and once in a while gets a burr in his saddle and punishes a player. All players know where he is on the ice, as they have probably been thumped by him.

      THere is also the intangible leadership qualities which have now left our dressing room.

      I understand the trade, I am not against the trade, but I feel in the short term, we got the short end of the stick.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        “THere is also the intangible leadership qualities which have now left our dressing room.”

        I heard (RLavoie) that his attitude might have been a bit of a problem this year. I don’t put a ton of stock into such comments, but Lavoie is usually pretty tuned in. It’s not like it’s coming from Bergie or Gaston.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          And just the same, after the Toronto blowout it was Gorges talking about how COle kind of got the team together and spoke about everyone playing better.


          • nunacanadien says:

            The Toronto blowout showed the habs are easy to push around and now with Cole gone are even easier to push around.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        We are not cup contenders realistically so I am ok with it. MB isn’t afraid to make a move and I like that. Cole is grittier and has better leadership but from watching the last couple weeks we really lack a sniper and it was quite obvious so far this season that Cole wasn’t going to repeat his last years performance.

        I think Cole might have put a spotlight on himself with his summer antics and rightfully so. To be a professional means you must be professional especially in front of the media. I don’t think that is why he was traded but I am sure it made MB take notice

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  70. Kooch7800 says:

    Good deal on both sides. Dallas is struggling at the gate (ticket wise) and needs to make the playoffs cause in Texas you have to be winning for people to notice.

    I was sad when Ryder was treated the way he was in Montreal. Carbo really shafted him that year and he has played great on other teams since. I look forward to seeing him back with the habs and in a top 6 role. I think he will be on fire starting tonight

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  71. nfldanchor says:

    Ryder is one of the best snipers in the NHL . Check his stats ,they speak for themselves. Now get another Newf ,CLOWE from the Sharks ,one of the toughest forwards in the league who gets 40 -55 points a season.

    • nunacanadien says:

      That is what we need are tougher forwards. All the best to Gionta and our mighty smurfs, they try and but honestly, they get knocked around, and who can blame them? They try, but honestly it wears the rest of the team down fast when your captain basically gives up after the first period of being pummeled by even the lesser teams but who are bigger in size to Gionta.

  72. SmartDog says:

    HERE’s AN INTERESTING QUOTE FROM COLE: “It was going to happen now, or the in the summer or next year,” Cole said. “There was a great opportunity to go to Dallas. … I placed a call to Ray, and he had great things to say about the organization.”

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

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