Cole, a 31-year-old defenseman who scored 26 points (four goals, 22 assists) in 65 games with the Avalanche last season, has no points in two games this season. He is in the final season of a three-year contract he signed with Colorado on July 1, 2018, and can become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Cole is expected to play for the Wild against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, FS-W).
“Ian is a guy I know well from again my Pittsburgh days and somebody that I trust on the ice,” said Wild general manager Bill Guerin, who was assistant GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2014-19. “I like the way he carries himself. And when (Avalanche GM) Joe [Sakic] told me he’d be available, we worked on it quickly and we got something done.”
Selected by the St. Louis Blues in the first round (No. 18) of the 2007 NHL Draft, Cole has scored 138 points (26 goals, 112 assists) in 543 regular-season games with the Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Penguins and Blues. He has scored 24 points (one goal, 23 assists) in 89 Stanley Cup Playoff games and won the Cup with the Penguins in 2016 and 2017.
“‘Colesy’ was a warrior,” Avalanche captain Nathan MacKinnon said after a 3-2 win at the Los Angeles Kings. “Obviously, he’s a Cup champion. It’s a tough business. I’m sure he was just ready to nap, he was in the lineup tonight and got moved. It’s just a financial thing, I’m assuming. We’re pretty tight against the [NHL salary] cap ($81.5 million), and I guess (general manager) Joe [Sakic] had to make a tough decision. Obviously it’s hard to lose a guy like Colesy. Everyone loved Colesy, and he brought a lot to our team, a lot of grit and toughness and great penalty killer. Just a good hockey player, so it’s obviously tough to lose him.”
Guerin said Cole’s championship experience can be valuable for Minnesota, as is the fact that forward Nick Bonino also was on those two Cup-winning teams in Pittsburgh. The Wild acquired Bonino in a trade from the Nashville Predators on Oct. 7.
“It is a different experience, and one that, if we have guys that have been there before, and have accomplished that, it can only help,” Guerin said. “Ian was an integral part of those wins, as was Bonino. They are guys that have great value and have a lot to offer and I have a ton of respect for that.”
Pateryn, a 30-year-old defenseman, has two assists in three games this season. He is in the final season of a three-year contract he signed with Minnesota on July 1, 2018, and can become an unrestricted free agent after the season.“Greg is a strong, veteran defenseman who plays a heavy game,” Sakic said. “He’s a hard-nosed, competitive player who can kill penalties, block shots and brings some additional grit to our back line.”
Selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth round (the No. 128) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Pateryn has scored 41 points (four goals, 37 assists) in 270 regular-season games with the Wild, Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens, and three assists in three playoff games.