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NHL

Senators trade defenseman Ian Cole to Blue Jackets

Jonathan Bombulie
| Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, 10:15 a.m.
Penguins defenseman Ian Cole plays against the Golden Knights Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins defenseman Ian Cole plays against the Golden Knights Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.

Ian Cole's winding trade journey has taken him to one of the Penguins' biggest rivals.

The Ottawa Senators traded Cole to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday morning, hours before the NHL's 3 p.m. trade deadline.

The Penguins are flirting with first place in the Metropolitan Division and the Blue Jackets are in contention for the first wild-card, so a first-round playoff matchup between the Penguins and the physical defenseman who helped them win the last two Stanley Cup championships might be on the horizon.

The Penguins sent Cole to Ottawa in the Derick Brassard deal on Friday. The rebuilding Senators never intended to keep Cole, who will be an unrestricted free agent in July, and flipped him to the Blue Jackets for a 2020 third-round draft pick and prospect Nick Moutrey.

Cole improves the bottom end of Columbus' defensive depth chart, especially if, as rumored, the Blue Jackets trade away defenseman Jack Johnson.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

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