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
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!!!