A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Canes re-ink Cole, Boulerice

Canes fans can breathe a little easier now. Erik Cole has been re-signed to a one-year $1.14M deal. Cole got us a little worried yesterday when he expressed some concern about the club's commitment to him. Frankly, I think he has a right to be concerned. He really wants to play for this team, and wants a long-term commitment. A one-year deal is not what he had in mind, and is not what we fans have in mind either. Our team, though, has never been known to shore up players with long-term contracts. Even still, it would have been nicer to get a three-year deal.
Cole, who can play either wing position, was the C to Bates Battaglia and Rod Brind'Amour's Bs on the BBC line which caught fire during our run to the Stanley Cup finals in 2002. During that post-season, Cole lead all rookies with 6 goals and 3 assists for 9 points. He also grew a really kick-ass playoff beard (see picture).
On the ice, Cole isn't the most talented skater, but he works hard and plays aggressively.
Off the ice, Erik is one of the fan favorites. He always makes time to talk to fans and to sign jerseys and caps. I've never met him, but everyone who has says he's a hell of a guy.
I'm happy that we've retained him, but I just wish it had been a longer contract. I don't know what the team has in the works, but I would assume that they have some plans for Colesy beyond this season.
There's still some talk of trying to get Battaglia back here. He would come cheap, and the ladies would really like it. I think we'd all like it, but the ladies especially. He'll never be a Rocket Richard contender, but his production would be well worth the salary he'd get (probably around $600k).
Right wing Jesse Boulerice is another guy who I think we had to retain. Yes, he's our "enforcer", but he made some really significant improvements in his offensive game in 2003-04. No longer just the agitator, he scored 6 goals in the 03-04 season to go along with his team-high 127 penalty minutes, and earned an "every-night-player" status rather than being a healthy scratch. I'm concerned, though, because he didn't play at all during the lockout. His contract, by the way, is for one year at $501,600.

Now, the only player I think we MUST retain is Josef Vasicek, who is rumored to make Cole-type money. I'm waiting....

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