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.
3 years ago