FRISCO — The Dallas Stars made a major move Tuesday by acquiring forward Erik Cole from the Montreal Canadiens.
"I'm not overly surprised," Cole said in a conference call. "I kind of heard a rumbling that something could be going on, but at the same time I had some control since I have a 'no trade' in my contract."
Dallas gave up Michael Ryder and a third round pick from 2013 NHL draft.
Cole is a 34-year-old veteran forward who has played in 721 career games in the NHL. He's 6'-2" and weighs 212 pounds. He said he discussed his no trade option with his wife before it happened.
"Obviously I’m married with two kids," Cole said. "My wife and I had previously discussed it, so if this happens, we'll say 'yes' right away."
Cole said his contract would have eventually dictated some type of move within the next several years.
"I view him as a top two line guy," said Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk. "I like the speed, the size and the power that he plays with. We watched him a lot last year. The speed in his game is still there, and will be a benefit to our lineup."
Nieuwendyk said trade talks with the Canadiens have been ongoing for the last 10 days.
Cole led Montreal in scoring with 35 goals last year and was second on the team with 61 points. Cole has had five 50-point seasons, including two 60-point seasons with Montreal.
Cole has also appeared in 43 playoff games, posting 14 points, including one game-winning goal.
"Erik Cole is a top-six power forward who skates well, adds size, and is under contract for the next two years," Nieuwendyk said.
Cole is a native of Oswego, New York and competed at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. He has also competed at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships.
Nieuwendyk was asked if he was on the hot seat to make the playoffs or else. "No I don't feel that way," Nieuwendyk said. "I operate on the basis of trying to make my hockey team better. We hope that our team will continue to get better."
Ryder, 32, returns to Montreal after playing the last two seasons with Dallas and the previous three with Boston.