SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 03: Ian Cole #28 of the St. Louis Blues and Barclay Goodrow #89 of the San Jose Sharks go for the puck at SAP Center on January 3, 2015 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) By Ezra Shaw
(HockeySTL) -- The Blues are renovating their blue-line as the trade deadline nears. Less than two hours after trading for Arizona’s Zbynek Michalek, the Blues swapped defensemen, sending Ian Cole to Pittsburgh in exchange for Robert Bortuzzo and a 2016 seventh-round draft pick.
Cole, who was the Blues’ first round pick in 2007 (18th overall), began his NHL career during the 2010-11 season, playing in 26 games with the Blues. Since then, Cole has played in 141 NHL games with St. Louis, accumulating 27 points.
It’s believed that Cole, who has four goals, nine points and a plus-16 rating this season, has been on the block for some time. The Blues, liking their defensive depth, wanted to change the makeup of their defensive corps by adding the more physical Bortuzzo.
Bortuzzo, 25, has suited up for 38 games with Pittsburgh this season and has two goals, six points. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound defenseman has 113 NHL games on his resume.
Both Cole and Bortuzzo are restricted free agents after this season. Bortuzzo brings a $600,000 cap hit with him, while Cole's $825,000 cap hit departs.