Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dentist Dad Gives Cole Good Support

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dentist Dad Gives Cole Good Support

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - Throughout his son's hockey-playing career, Doug Cole, a dentist, always reminded Ian to keep his mouthguard in, lest he catch a stray puck in the face and ruin his smile.

So now that Cole is down three teeth as a result of Roman Josi's slap shot to the face Oct. 7, how has his dad reacted?

"He's handled it pretty well, actually," Ian Cole said Tuesday. "The one thing he always told me was to make sure I wear my mouthguard because I have really nice teeth, not to get them knocked out. Then I go get them knocked out and his reaction was, 'Oh, it's OK we can fix them.' He's been pretty good about it."

Cole returned to the Penguins' lineup Tuesday night after missing three games following the incident. He spoke Tuesday after the team's morning skate with a noticeable gap in his smile and a slight lisp as he adjusts to his new dental set-up.

There are, of course, some positives to having a dentist for a dad in this situation.

"He's been great about it," Cole said. "He's asking a lot of questions and asking me to ask questions for him. Our doctors here have had great answers, so it's been great."

Cole's wife, Jordan, has been perhaps less constructive in her reaction, but Cole understands.

"She just laughs at me a lot," he said. "Every time I laugh, she just laughs at me and not with me."

The defenseman's diet has changed a bit, as well.

"I've always liked soup, but I have a newfound appreciation for the work that goes into making the soup," Cole joked.

Cole said he finally returned to solid foods a few days ago, trying to put back some of the weight he lost immediately following the incident.The timing was good, too, with the Penguins' first trip to New York on the horizon.

"I kept it to sushi," Cole said. "I didn't want to test it out too much with a steak or anything."

While he might be easing back on the restrictions off the ice, he'll have to play with a full face shield for at least his first few games back.

Given the recent emphasis on reducing head trauma across all sports, it's a natural to question whether the NHL would ever make full-face shields mandatory, the way they are in college hockey. …

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