The Montreal Canadiens are off to a surprisingly good start, although in this shortened season that means they've had pretty much a good half a year, but they evidently were not content to stick with the roster they had. The Canadiens and the Dallas Stars have completed a trade. It's a trade much more interesting than the husk of Simon Gagne going back to the Flyers. The Canadiens have sent Erik Cole to the Stars for Michael Ryder and a third round pick.
Trades like this happen less often these days it feels. Most trades see prospects and draft picks headed in one direction, as opposed to two established, dare I say veteran, players being swapped. While I don't see this as a bad trade for either team, I really don't understand it from Dallas' perspective, especially since they threw in the draft pick while also getting, in my opinion, the worse player in the deal.
Both players are coming off big seasons. Cole had 35 goals and 61 points. Ryder had 35 goals and 62 points. Both have had good careers. I just happen to like Ryder better overall. Plus, Ryder is two years younger, and he's been much better than Cole to start this season. Ryder has 14 points, Cole has six. It's not about money either. Cole has a bigger cap hit, $4.5 million to $3.5 million, and his deal extends into next season while Ryder's ends.
Were the Stars expecting not to re-sign Ryder for next season, so they decided to trade him for a guy who will be? If so, why Cole? And why throw in a third round pick? I think Cole can help the Stars, and I certainly think Ryder can help the Habs. I just think Montreal got the better of this deal. With Rene Bourque out indefinitely with a concussion, Ryder may be looked to right away.