Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche swap veteran defenders

We have our first in-season trade of the 2020-21 campaign, as the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche rearranged deck chairs with the swap of a pair of veteran defenders on expiring contracts, according to a report from The Athletic Minnesota's Michael Russo.

Ian Cole, joining the Wild, is in the final year of a three-season pact that he signed with the Colorado Avalanche in the 2018 off-season, valued at $4.25-million per; Greg Pateryn, joining the Avalanche, is in the final third of his own three-year deal, signed on the same day, and valued at $2.25-million. Both numbers are courtesy of our partners at CapFriendly.

The motivation for Colorado is obvious. They're clearing cap some cap space, adding right-shot depth, and making room for Bowen Byram's arrival on the scene. If Byram's play at the 2021 World Juniors is any indication -- he's ready.

[Read more: Ranking the NHL’s Best Prospects, Skaters 25-1]

Minnesota, meanwhile, gets the better of this exchange by landing Cole; better still, Russo's report suggests the Avs are going to retain some of his salary. Best-case scenario, Cole supplants Carson Soucy on the Wild's third-pair, and the team is all the better for it. Depending on how the next few weeks and months go, Cole just might command a worthwhile bounty of futures for the Wild at the deadline, too.

The landscape of the NHL hasn't drastically shifted, but both Minnesota and Colorado come out of this trade in better shape than they were going into the day. It's a rare win-win hockey trade.

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NHL Colorado Avalanche Minnesota Wild NHL Bowen Byram Ian Cole Ian Cole Ian Cole Greg Pateryn Carson Soucy
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