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Stars expect Erik Cole to bring size, power to lineup

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars made news prior to Tuesday night’s game at Columbus, shipping forward Michael Ryder and a third round pick in 2013 to the Montreal Canadiens for forward Erik Cole, a player Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk believes can bring a different element to the team’s attack.

“It’s a deal that makes sense for us because (Cole) has a little more size and strength to compete in the West,” said Nieuwendyk. “He’s a big guy with experience who has a lot of power to his game. The fact that he has this year, plus two years remaining on his contract is a little security for us.”

Ryder, on the other hand, will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

“We looked down the road at when Michael is a UFA this summer – we have to make a decision on all of our UFAs – and when we were discussing whether we would entertain the idea of re-signing this player, the opportunity came about with Erik Cole,” said Nieuwendyk.

Cole knew a trade was coming sooner or later. Those two remaining years on his contract are at a $4.5 million cap hit, and Montreal needs to sign some younger players to contracts with the salary cap going down.

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