Ian Cole signed a three-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. Financial terms were not released.
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"I think with the success that Colorado had last year, the trajectory that I personally see them on, only getting better, only increasing as far as their chances of doing something better," Cole told the Avalanche website. "There is just a lot to really like about the team situation, not to mention how great the city is."
The 29-year-old defenseman had 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 67 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins last season. He had seven points (two goals, five assists) in 20 regular-season games with the Blue Jackets after he was acquired in a trade with the Penguins on Feb. 23, and had three assists in six Stanley Cup Playoff games.
"As a player, you try and pride yourself on being easy to play with and being tough to play against," Cole said. "I think the more predictable you can make yourself to your partner and your teammates, the faster you can play. And I know the Colorado Avalanche as a team likes to play very fast, and that's something that we are certainly going to try out."
The St. Louis Blues selected Cole in the first round (No. 18) of the 2007 NHL Draft. He has 97 points (20 goals, 77 assists) in 405 NHL games with the Blue Jackets, Penguins and Blues.
"We wanted to have that size (6-foot-1, 219 pounds)," Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said. "We've got some big teams in this conference, so we want to make sure in front of our net we've got some physical presence to go along with our smaller, skill guys. We feel we've got a good mix there. Injuries happen, especially on the back end and we want to make sure we have many capable, quality NHL bodies."
Cole, who has 17 points (one goal, 16 assists) in 62 playoff games, won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016 and 2017.
"[Ian] played really well in the playoffs and down the stretch for Columbus," Sakic said. "He played really well for Pittsburgh. He's a guy that we're counting on for that experience and leadership. Having him and (goalie Philipp) Grubauer -- both guys have won Stanley Cups -- are going to bring that experience to our dressing room."
Grubauer was acquired in a trade with the Capitals on June 22.