Wild general manager Bill Guerin added another familiar face on Tuesday and the fact that guy has a couple of Stanley Cup rings didn’t hurt. Veteran defenseman Ian Cole was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche for veteran d-man Greg Pateryn in a trade that continues to reshape the Wild roster and locker room.
Cole is expected to be in the Wild lineup on Wednesday night in Anaheim and will be able to avoid having to quarantine because the Avalanche already were in California to play the Kings. The 30-year-old Pateryn, a right-handed shot, had opened the season playing with lefthanded-shooting Carson Soucy on the Wild’s third defensive pair. Cole, who will turn 32 on Feb. 21, also is a left-handed shot.
The Wild have opened the season with a 2-1 record, beating the Kings in back-to-back overtime games before losing 1-0 on Monday night against the Ducks.
Guerin was familiar with the 6-foot-1, 225-pound Cole from their time together in Pittsburgh. Guerin was assistant general manager of the Penguins when Cole played for the team from 2015 to 2018. The Penguins won Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.
“I think it’s important to have guys that have got that experience,” Guerin said when asked about Cole having won championships and being a veteran leader. “I think they can share their own personal experiences with the organization. Not just in the dressing room but within the organization. It is a difference experience and it’s one that if we have guys that have been there before and have accomplished that it can only help. Ian was an integral part of those wins as was (Nick) Bonino. They are guys that have great value and have a lot to offer and I have a ton of respect for that.”
Guerin, who has made several moves to change things in the Wild locker room since taking the GM job in 2019, acquired Bonino during the offseason from Nashville. Bonino also was on the Penguins teams that won back-to-back Cups.
Cole has two shots, four hits and two blocked shots in two games with the Avs this season. He had four goals and 22 assists with 83 hits and 122 blocked shots in 65 games last season in Colorado. Cole’s 26 points tied his career best and his 22 assists were the most in his 11-year career. Cole was a first-round pick (18th overall) of St. Louis in 2007 and made his NHL debut on Nov. 6, 2010 with the Blues.
Pateryn was signed by the Wild as a free agent in July 2018 and had one goal and 11 assists in 103 games with Minnesota. He also spent four years with Montreal and two years with Dallas.
Cole and Pateryn can both become unrestricted free agents after this season. Cole’s salary-cap hit is $4.25 million and Pateryn’s is $2.25 million. The Avalanche will retain $800,000 of Cole’s cap hit, but save $1.2 million overall on the trade, according to the Denver Post.