3 players the Canadiens can take from the Canucks in NHL free agency

Few teams have more pending unrestricted free agents than the Canucks, so one of them may land with the Montreal Canadiens come NHL free agency.
Montreal Canadiens v Vancouver Canucks
Montreal Canadiens v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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Ian Cole, D

Ian Cole has worn a lot of sweaters throughout his long career, but he’s never worn one featuring the logo of an iconic Original Six team, so maybe that will change this summer. Like Sam Lafferty, Cole isn’t someone who would stay long, especially since he will enter his age-35 season, but he would be there to block shots and land checks on opponents for a year. 

That doesn’t sound like anything fancy, and it doesn’t need to be, as it’s particularly been the name of Cole’s game starting in the 2015-16 season when he was in Pittsburgh. His overall points totals indicate he doesn’t give much offensively, but when you look past basic numbers, the story is a little different. 

He’s landed a career 50.8 Corsi For Percentage at even strength and has more often than not been on the ice for far more goals for than allowed regardless of where he’s played - a career on-ice goals for to on-ice goals against ratio of 599 to 468. It gets even more interesting when you factor in Cole’s career offensive zone starting percentage, which sits at just 46.4. 

All of that said, he may give off the facade of a player whose game is purely defense, but it goes beyond that, and that, too, would benefit the Canadiens. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)