But the move to bring back a new face in exchange for Cole, in bringing back Michael Ryder, certainly looks like one that is paying off for the Habs.
Not only did they bring a guy in whose contract expires at the end of this season, freeing up some extra cash for the summer, they brought in someone who is familiar with Montreal and managed to unload an unfavorable contract, all at once.
So far, the results have been about as good as the Habs could have hoped for, as far as Ryder’s production in the lineup. In seven games so far with the Canadiens, he has nine points. That includes a pair of power play goals on Monday that helped the Habs grab yet another win in this impressive season.
The Canadiens may have lost a bit of a physical presence when they traded Cole, but what they lost in physicality they more than make up for in offensive production and veteran leadership in Ryder.
He has playoff experience, winning a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins just a couple of years ago, which helped him to earn that nice two-year deal from the Stars. That experience can be valuable for a Habs team that looks primed to make a real run in the Eastern Conference this season.
As of right now, the addition of Ryder back into the fold looks like a win for the Canadiens. If Ryder continues to produce and the Habs are able to use that money to get better this summer, it’s a terrific move for them.