Ian Cole possesses “a sturdiness to his game” the Avs defense aims to emulate

DENVER, CO-  The Avalanche wasted no time signing defenseman Ian Cole in the first hour of the 2018 offseason, getting his name on a three-year, $12.75 million contract.

Six weeks into the season, that signing is paying dividends. Avs coach Jared Bednar credits Cole’s play and presence for the defense’s ability to rebound from a recent five-game slide in which the Avalanche allowed 25 goals, a negative skid snapped by Sunday’s 4-1 win in Edmonton.