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

Friday, May 26, 2006

Cole won't make return this year.

The results of Erik Cole's CT scan are in, and it's now official. As the News and Observer reported today, Colesy is done for this season. Although the C5 vertebrae fracture is healing nicely, it hasn't progressed far enough for doctors to clear him for contact. With a minimum of three days and a maximum of 20 days remaining in the season, there won't be enough time.

Lots of folks were hoping that Cole would make a triumphant return to the Canes lineup if they make it all the way to the Cup final. Many other folks have been insisting that he stay out, even if he gets cleared. The people in that camp claimed that it would only put his health at risk to rush back like that.

The "non-clearance" makes it all academic anyway.

Cole will remain a presence in the room and in the stands, providing the team and the fans with a spark. He will absolutely be ready for training camp in the fall. I've given this matter a great deal of thought, and I think he should wear an A on his sweater next season.

My thinking is that Glen Wesley, who will turn 64 38 years old next October, will retire. With his retirement, the Canes will look to replace Wesley's longtime A. The logical choice on the blueline would be Bret Hedican, who despite playing the best hockey of his 49 17-year career, is also rumored to be a retiree-to-be.

Erik Cole is the best logical choice on the forward lines. He had a tremendous season prior to the accident, scoring 60 points in 60 games. In addition, he's actually one of the most tenured Canes, and has always been a very positive influence in the room. He certainly deserves to wear the A, and some day, the C.

This really should be the talk of the off-season, but I couldn't help it.

While my feelings about whether he should or should not return were mixed, everyone is in the same boat in that we are more concerned for Erik's health than his return to the ice. Coach Peter Laviolette sums it up perfectly:
"Everybody was holding out hope he'd be able to come back and play, but in the big picture we were worried about his life and career and that's going to be OK," Laviolette said. "It's disappointing he won't be with us, but that was really third on my list."

Sabres-Canes puck drop in 30 minutes. GO CANES!!!


Bill Purdy said...

Isn't Brooks Orpik from Buffalo? Or at least one of its suburbs?

d-lee said...

Indeed. Brooks Orpik is from the Buffalo suburb of San Fransisco, CA.
Honestly, I didn't know that people were born there. I've been under the assumption that it's where hippies used to go and where rich people go now.

Much like Cary, NC. I heard that San Fransisco modeled their city after Cary, NC.

Bill Purdy said...

Hmm. ESPN.com does say SF is Orpik's hometown.

But Hockeydb.com says it's Amherst, NY -- which is basically Buffalo. I'm pretty sure I got the impression he was from Buffalo from looking at his profile at the hockeydb after the big hit. The hockeydb usually seems correct -- at least as correct as any site that generates a ruthless number of pop-ups can be. And, you have to admit, Amherst makes a lot more sense than San Francisco as a hockey hometown.


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