Penguins defenseman Ian Cole, a pending restricted free agent, has “officially” started contract extension talks with the club, according DK on Pittsburgh Sports sources.
Cole, 26, is a former first-round pick (18th overall, 2007) that came to Pittsburgh in the Roberto Bortuzzo-to-St. Louis trade at the deadline. The former Notre Dame product played well upon joining the Pens, scoring eight points in 20 regular season games while averaging just under 19 minutes a night.
In the playoffs, with Pittsburgh’s blueline decimated by injury, Cole scored two points in five games while averaging 23 minutes per night.
Getting Cole back in the mix is fairly important for the Pens. While they do have some good young d-men on the horizon — Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta most notably — veterans Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff will be UFAs on July 1, and could be playing elsewhere next season.