73-Michael Ryder - Traded to Canadiens by Dallas

73-Michael Ryder – Traded to Canadiens by Dallas

Why would the teams make this deal?

It was basically one 35 goal scorer for another; a left winger for right winger.

From the Dallas side, they move a player that will be an unrestricted free agent in July for a player with two-plus seasons remaining in the four year deal he negotiated with then GM Pierre  Gauthier.  In the background during  that negotiation was Canadiens  advisor Bob Gainey, now working for Dallas.   Cole had a no-trade clause in place, so he had to give approval for the deal.

Ryder was leading  the Stars with 14 points – six goals and eight assists at the time of the deal.  He also had 200 shots on goal, ranking him sixth in the league.

As for Ryder, the Canadiens add  a slower Max Pacioretty-style player.  His quick accurate wrist and slap shots are where the comparisons are accurate.   He is a three time 30 goal scorer and a big factor in Boston’s Stanley cup run two years ago.  He left Montreal under a cloud but his game has gained consistency and respect in the four seasons since he left.

Whether it was the prolonged lockout, wear and tear on his body or simply age, in the early stages of the season Cole’s game wasn’t what it was last season.   The work ethic was there but he appeared to be a half step behind his opponents.  Word had appaarently leaked last week that Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin was entertaining offers..  On Sunday, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun wrote,  “Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin isn’t done making changes. We’re told he’d move LW Erik Cole if he could find a taker for his $4.5-million cap hit through 2014-15.”

Bergevin continues to put the Canadiens in excellant salary cap position for next July’s free agent frenzy.   He has rid himself of the onerous 7.5 million Scott Gomez cap hit through a buyout contract.   The 4.5 million dollar Cole contract is gone in return for  the 3.5 million dollar Ryder deal that expires at the end of the season.  If Bergevin elects to exercise another amnesty buyout on Tomas Kaberle’s 4.25 million dollar annual  in June it would leave the teams with 17 million in cap room with six players to sign.

The Canadiens also got the Stars third round draft pick as part of the deal.   At this stage Trevor Timmins has six picks in next June’s entry draft; their own in the first round, three in the second round (their own plus Calgary and Nashville) and two in the third (their own and Dallas).

Ryder was originally drafted by the Canadiens in the eighth round of the 1998 entry draft.  In four seasons with Montreal, he scored 99 goals, including a pair of 30 goal seasons.  The Canadiens let  him go to free agency amid rumours of off-ice issues.  He was signed by and was productive for the Bruins before moving on to Dallas where, in 101 games he recorded 41 goals and 35 assists with a plus- 21 rating.

From the Canadiens Communications Department –

MONTRÉAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Tuesday the acquisition of right winger Michael Ryder and the third round draft pick in 2013 from the Dallas Stars, in return for right winger Erik Cole.

Now 32, Ryder played 19 games with the Stars this season recording 14 points (6-8-14) and a +4 differential. Two of Ryder’s goals came on the powerplay and he tallied two game winning goals. The right winger served eight penalty minutes and had 32 shots on opposing goaltenders while averaging 16:22 of ice time.

Ryder, who hails from Bonavista, Newfoundland, was the Canadiens’ eighth round selection, 216th overall, at the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. A graduate of the QMJHL’s Hull Olympiques, Ryder began his NHL career as a member of the Canadiens donning the Red, White and Blue from 2003 to 2008. In 314 games with Montreal, he amassed 207 points (99 goals and 108 helpers) and served 156 penalty minutes. Ryder tallied 46 goals with the man advantage, two while his team was shorthanded and had a total of 15 game winning goals.

The 6’0’’, 198 lbs. forward has played 650 regular season games in the NHL, suiting up with the Canadiens, Boston Bruins and Stars and recording a career total of 410 points (203 goals and 207 assists). Ryder also shows a +27 differential, with 297 penalty minutes, 80 powerplay goals, two shorthanded tallies and 37 game-winning goals.

Signed as a free agent by the Canadiens on July 1, 2011, Cole played 19 games this season with the Canadiensregistering six points (three goals, three assists). He served 10 penalty minutes and shows a +1 plus/minus differential, with 43 hits and 41 shots on goal, playing an average of 15 minutes and 39 seconds per game.

Since joining the NHL, Cole has recorded 457 points (222 goals and 235 helpers) and maintained a +15 plus/minus ratio in 721 NHL regular season games.