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

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Colesy inked for three

On Wednesday, the Hurricanes re-signed left wing Erik Cole to a three-year deal, paying him $4M per season. Cole tallied 59 points (30/29) in 60 games during the 2005-06 season, before missing the final quarter of the season with the C-5 compression fracture. He made a surprising return to the Hurricanes lineup in game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, playing an average of 15:30 in the final two games. He had no goals and no assists, but it was his speediness that caused the Oilers to take the penalty, which produced the power play during which Frantisek Kaberle scored the Cup-winning goal in the second period.

Despite missing 22 games, Cole's 8 game-winning goals were 7th in the entire League. He was also one of Carolina's go-to guys on the shootout. Also, he made NHL history by being awarded two penalty shots in the same game this season. He converted one of those. The next game, Cole again made (or at least shared) history, by being awarded a penalty shot in consecutive games.

Although I've disagreed with some of what he's said since the injury, and I've been unimpressed by his attitude about it, he's a crucial member of this team, and a guy that is generally well liked. I thought, though, that the team would only give him one year. His health is now a question, and given the remarks that he's made specifically about Brooks Orpik, he's putting himself at risk just by playing.

So all five RFAs (Eric Staal, Erik Cole, Viva, Mike Commodore, and Sharpie were signed without issue. Only Cullen, AWard and Gerber were picked up out of the UFAs so far.

As for their own needs, the Canes will still need to pick up a defenseman or two and a winger or two. Look for some trades involving Josef Vasicek or Oleg Tverdovsky.


DrFrankLives said...

What do you mean by not being impressed with his attitude?

ain't nothin STAAL'n us now.. StanleyCup'06 said...

is sharpie... chad larose?.. & did i miss something.. haha how is that his nickname? & also, whats the reason for viva.. for williams nickname.

hmm sorry. i just never knew. haha

Chris said...

He's been playing hardball with negotiating. He signed, so it's cool, but it rubbed some people the wrong way.

Bill Purdy said...

Ya know, hockey is a business, which means guys like Erik Cole are obligated to sign the best deals they can. And guys like Jim Rutherford are obligated to do the same thing. It's not a reflection of anyone's attitude -- as far as I know, Erik Cole's "reluctance" to sign a multi-year deal (which he wound up doing) was reported entirely on the message boards. In truth, we have no idea how the negotiations proceeded. All we know is he took 4 days FOUR DAYS MAN! to decide what was best for him and his family, and fans suddenly started questioning his attitude and commitment to the 'Canes. I'd advise anyone else in his position to do the same.

I agree he should not have gone on TV and said he wanted to hit Brooks Orpik, but even that's not exactly out of line for hockey players. As for his attitude in general, he's the second most influential team leader the Canes have. I'm willing to cut him some slack. I hope other fans will, too.

DrFrankLives said...

I think he should have told Orpik that no matter where he plays next year, he should be prepared to sit out his first game against the Canes, or face punishment.

I don't see anything wrong with that whatsoever. The league failed to discipline him, so it falls to the players. Welcome to hockey.

If it were baseball, he'd be looking at a few plunkings. IN hockey, he'll get his ass kicked a few times.


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