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Avalanche Trade Ian Cole to Wild for Greg Pateryn

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Colorado Avalanche trade Cole to a former division rival

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche have traded defenseman Ian Cole to the Minnesota Wild for defenseman Greg Pateryn. The 31 spent just over two seasons with the Avalanche after signing with the team in the summer of 2018. The left-shot veteran defenseman makes way for the 30-year-old Pateryn, a right-handed defensive defenseman.

Cole has been on the third pair this season averaging 14 minutes a night. Greg Pateryn has played a similar role to start this season on the third pair of the Wild. Pateryn makes half as much as Cole ($4.25 million vs. $2.25 million) as the two are both in the last year of their deals. However, the Avalanche have retained $800k of Cole’s contract so the actual savings in the trade is approximately $1.8m. Team’s cap space has now increased to $2.23 million on a 21-man roster. If left unchanged, this will balloon to $10 million by the trade deadline.

With Byram and Johnson on the active roster, the Avalanche had little wiggle room - which is part of why they were going with 7 defense tonight. This move gives the team more flexibility when it comes to injury call ups.

Cole had a great two years with the Avalanche as the defensive conscious of the d-corps, especially when Erik Johnson fell to injury. We are going to miss him.

Pateryn comes in as a righty who can play next to someone like Ryan Graves in a shutdown pair role or with a young Bowen Byram. Cole played his second (and last) game of the season with the Avalanche next to Conor Timmins. What this trade means for him is yet unclear. Perhaps he goes back to playing next to Samuel Girard, whom he played next to in the first game of the season in an offensive role.

For tonight against the Kings where Pateryn will not be available, the Avalanche have called up Dennis Gilbert from the Taxi Squad and will play him as the seventh defenseman, making his Avalanche debut. Gilbert was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks this past offseason as a part of the Brandon Saad trade.

For tonight, I’d expect to see something like:

Toews - Makar

Girard - EJ

Graves - Timmins

Gilbert

In terms of getting these players to their respective teams, the Avalanche and Wild seem to be in the right place at the right time. All it’ll take is a couple hours drive from LA to Anaheim and the exchange will have been made.

This trade does two things, it evens out the left/right split on the blueline and gives a very big vote of confidence to rookies Conor Timmins and Bo Byram,