With news coming down yesterday that the Pittsburgh Penguins had acquired hulking defenseman Jamie Oleksiak fro the Dallas Stars in exchange for a fourth round pick, fans and analysts of the team have speculated wildly at what the move might mean for the future of Ian Cole.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford admitted that the Oleksiak trade may give him “more options moving forward.” Is this a hint at a potential Ian Cole trade? It’s no secret that the veteran blue liner isn’t happy with his how he’s been used by head coach Mike Sullivan this season.
“We'll see about more trades,” said Rutherford yesterday. “We have enough good players to get back on track. As always, we'll see how it goes. The nice thing about this is that having Jamie gives us another NHL defenseman.”
With such a pressing need to replace departed center Nick Bonino’s role, could Cole be used as trade bait to bring in a capable third line pivot? The NHL is currently in a trade freeze until after Christmas, but don’t be surprised if Rutherford decides to shake things up even more in the new year.