When Andrew Cogliano joined the Anaheim Ducks in 2011, he was straight-up, Charles Barkley 'turrible'. So why would the Ducks give him a four-year, $12-million total contract extension years later? His story is a tale of redemption, my friends.
Cogliano was traded from Edmonton prior to the 2011-12 to be the third line center behind Ryan Getzlaf and Saku Koivu and a penalty killer despite performing poorly at both for the Oil. Makes total sense, right?
Andrew Cogliano might be a worse center than Bobby Ryan. 3 wins and 10 losses on the face off dot for a whopping 23%. I am beginning to lose patience with Cogs.
At this point in the 2011-2012 season, the Ducks were reeling having replaced Randy Carlyle with Bruce Boudreau about two weeks earlier. Boudreau had a double disadvantage: he was coming from the Eastern Conference and magically there were no coach's tapes left for him and his staff. He knew next-to-nothing about his new troops and kept Cogliano at center.
It took a while for the 'move Cogliano to wing' light-switch to go off with the Ducks coaching staff, but when it did, his career began to swing upwards.
In the lockout shortened season, Cogliano was moved to wing on the third line with Saku Koivu and Daniel Winnik. This new line combination was an instant success. Not exaggerating - they combined for two goals and four assists in the first game, a 7-3 win over Calgary.
At the end of the regular season, Cogs was seventh on the Ducks in scoring with 23 points; he was third in goals at 13 (more goals than Bobby Ryan's 11), behind only Getzlaf and Corey Perry with 15 goals each; and was second to Getzlaf in shorthanded goals with two. The stats may not have been off the charts but it was - by far - the best season of his career.
This season is shaping up to be even better for Cogliano. His shut-down/checking line with Winnik and Koivu is the Ducks most consistent grouping. Andrew and his speed is an essential part of the Ducks penalty kill. He continues to be an iron man, having not missed a single tilt in his 501 game NHL career. He's already surpassed his point total for last season. Plus you know things are going well when you get a stinger and score a goal without even trying:
(S/t to Derek Zona at Copper & Blue for the punny Mambo Cogliano.)
Follow Jen Neale on Twitter @MsJenNeale_PD