Trade rumors involving Ian Cole may start to pick up even more steam after the Pittsburgh Penguins announced Matt Murray is week-to-week with a lower-body injury on Tuesday.
Murray, 23, was injured in Monday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers when Jakub Voracek collided with Murray, sending the two-time Stanley Cup winner’s leg awkwardly into the post.
The injury is a big blow to the Penguins, who are sitting in the second wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. Not only have they been struggling with consistency this season, they now have two goalies on their roster with a combined five games of NHL experience.
Tristan Jarry, 22, is slated to be Murray’s replacement for the time being. He’s appeared in four games, all this season, and owns a 2-0-2 record. He’s played well, but questions of his long-term viability at this point are unanswered. The Penguins recalled Casey DeSmith, 26, on Tuesday, who allowed three goals on 15 shots in 42 minutes in his NHL debut earlier this year.
Cole, meanwhile, has been a healthy scratch for the past four games. He’s not too happy about it, of course.
But Penguins coach Mike Sullivan was quick to shoot down the speculation revolving around his 28-year-old defenseman on Tuesday.
Sullivan’s comments are likely a smokescreen, however, as the Penguins have reportedly allowed Cole’s agent to speak with other teams about a trade.
What becomes of Ian Cole, and what the return might be, will play out over the coming weeks, if not days.
And there are more pressing concerns.
As Matt Larkin of The Hockey News points out, Murray has been injured five times now in the past 19 months, including three ailments considered to be serious and causing him to miss significant time.
If a trade involving Cole can’t garner a veteran goaltender in return, perhaps the Penguins can re-claim an old friend, assuming Antti Niemi hits the waiver wire again with the return to health of Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price.
Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck