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There's plenty of left wingers/defensemen I'd trade for Cole, but none out of Vancouver.

EDIT: Actually, scratch that. I'd love to grab Jeff Cowan, but not for Cole.

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Nah, if we were going to trade Cole for another left wing, I'd love to see if we could grab Alex Semin. Not saying it would happen, but I'd love it if it did.

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The problem with trying to replace a guy like Cole goes beyond his position. His unique qualities, a power forward who is both a powerful and fast skater, are what makes it tough to get an equal return especially when you consider his value to the system and his line. Staal doesn't have the killer moves to regularly create space and time for himself. Cole does that with his speed down the wing, backing off defenders and giving Staal room to operate with a guy who will crash the net and can score or he can get off his own shot or set-up Stillman on the other side.

So how many other power forwards can do that in the NHL? Very few and that role leaves a huge hole in the lineup.

One of the more subtle elements that I haven't seen anyone post is this. The Canes like to play at key times, and essentially won a Cup with, a version of Detroit's fabled Left Wing Lock. That requires your RW, where Cole plays on his off-wing, to be a primary, punishing forechecker while the LW drifts back with the D's. It frees up Staal to cherry-pick turnovers down low around the circles. That was one way to help an otherwise below average defensive line that has a slow and non-physical Stillman and the non-physical Staal. During the Cup year, that was the de facto #1 line which meant it was logging tons of even strength ice time.

You can make good argument to trade Cole but you have to look first at how his mix of abilities impacts the team system and one its top lines. He does have a tendency to get hurt but you have to be very careful of a negative ripple effect if you can't get someone who can play his many roles effectively.

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I cant see any reasons. We know that Erik Cole puts out numbers. When we traded Kapanen, he was in a slump, and wasnt producing. IMHOP, it would be really foolish to trade someone like Cole. For one thing, I cant think of anyone who we could get for him that would make a bigger impact than him, and secondly, if we did, would it outweight the potential loss of interest in the team from some Cole fans?

I don't disagree from a fan standpoint but from a GM standpoint Cole is a $4mil salary and has always been difficult to deal with at contract time. Cole will be a UFA come next contract time which will make him even more difficult to deal with, so getting a major return now could be a plus.

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing about the possibility of trading Cole, but he is under contract for the next 2 years, 4 million each. One good reason to trade Cole this year might be to get a high level defenseman in return. Either way, I'd hate to see him go.

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I cant see any reasons. We know that Erik Cole puts out numbers. When we traded Kapanen, he was in a slump, and wasnt producing. IMHOP, it would be really foolish to trade someone like Cole. For one thing, I cant think of anyone who we could get for him that would make a bigger impact than him, and secondly, if we did, would it outweight the potential loss of interest in the team from some Cole fans?

I don't disagree from a fan standpoint but from a GM standpoint Cole is a $4mil salary and has always been difficult to deal with at contract time. Cole will be a UFA come next contract time which will make him even more difficult to deal with, so getting a major return now could be a plus.

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing about the possibility of trading Cole, but he is under contract for the next 2 years, 4 million each. One good reason to trade Cole this year might be to get a high level defenseman in return. Either way, I'd hate to see him go.

No defensmen (that we could get for him) is worth a power forward like Cole that especially when we need every goal that we can get next year. Just my .02.

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business reason, schmizzness reason.

Cole came back from a broken neck, early, to help his team win a Stanley Cup. He carried the team emotionally from the bench from March 2006 until he came back.

He should be a Cane for life, unless someone is offering Crosby or Ovechkin.

Those are about the only trades I could stomach.

They trade Cole for anything less than an All Star at the beginning of his career, and they can keep my tickets and send me my money.

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business reason, schmizzness reason.

Cole came back from a broken neck, early, to help his team win a Stanley Cup. He carried the team emotionally from the bench from March 2006 until he came back.

He should be a Cane for life, unless someone is offering Crosby or Ovechkin.

Those are about the only trades I could stomach.

They trade Cole for anything less than an All Star at the beginning of his career, and they can keep my tickets and send me my money.

What TheCaptain said .... and if they do, for som ereason, trade him, it better be for a hell of a hockey player. I think that Cole will be team captain after Rod retires in 4-5 years.

That's my plan

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I think you're overrating Cole. He's a great hockey player, and he's extremely fast when he's fully healthy. But the more time that passes, the more injury-prone he's going to become. It's a dangerous side effect of his style of play. You've eventually got to decide when the risk of injury starts to outweigh the numbers.

Since we have him locked up for 2 more years, keep him for one, then trade him for a good, young left winger before he hits the free market. Depending on who's willing to trade, we could get a great deal for him.

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business reason, schmizzness reason.

Cole came back from a broken neck, early, to help his team win a Stanley Cup. He carried the team emotionally from the bench from March 2006 until he came back.

He should be a Cane for life, unless someone is offering Crosby or Ovechkin.

Those are about the only trades I could stomach.

They trade Cole for anything less than an All Star at the beginning of his career, and they can keep my tickets and send me my money.

What TheCaptain said .... and if they do, for som ereason, trade him, it better be for a hell of a hockey player. I think that Cole will be team captain after Rod retires in 4-5 years.

That's my plan

Cole's a good player, yes, but I don't see him in a captaincy role for our team. Remember, he'd be following in the footsteps of Francis & Brind'Amour, & I just don't see that happening.

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I agree 300, Cole is good and has great skills on the ice but I just don't see him being a team leader. At contract time he seems to think more about himself and less about the team. When we locked Brindy up for 5 he still had a year or two left on his contract and could have easily turned it down and gone for the big payday this year or next. Instead he thought of the team and took a longer term deal for a little less, leaving something on the table for the rest of the guys. Cole wouldn't have done that.

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I agree 300, Cole is good and has great skills on the ice but I just don't see him being a team leader. At contract time he seems to think more about himself and less about the team. When we locked Brindy up for 5 he still had a year or two left on his contract and could have easily turned it down and gone for the big payday this year or next. Instead he thought of the team and took a longer term deal for a little less, leaving something on the table for the rest of the guys. Cole wouldn't have done that.

I do think Cole is very unique but I wouldn't go so far as to say he is a captain-in-waiting or that he is an untouchable player. You do have to take into account the intangibles that he brings but there is a legit concern over his injuries. Even forgetting for a moment about his neck injury, his wide-open style of play will probably make him one of those guys whose body just won't hold up long-term. That has always been the Canes' concern and why his name has surfaced in past trade rumors.

I have a different recollection of his stance during contract negotiations. It seems to be the Canes kept qualifying him for one-year, below market deals, for a couple of years while he was an RFA. He was only making a shade over $1 million when he signed his 3-year deal after last season. He has repeatedly said he wants to be here and wanted a longer-term deal and never opted to file for arbitration which he could have before he signed his Q.O.

For me, the only question that can be raised is why he chose a 3-year deal vs. the 5-year deal the Canes wanted him to sign. It was for less money over 5 years and as I understand it, his camp felt it would be below market in the later years. When looking at recent signings, they were right. Regardless, the deal overlapped his first-time UFA eligibility so it's tough to criticize his loyalty. Especially when you consider the Canes used his RFA to rein in his salary well below market value for his performance.

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I think you're overrating Cole. He's a great hockey player, and he's extremely fast when he's fully healthy. But the more time that passes, the more injury-prone he's going to become. It's a dangerous side effect of his style of play. You've eventually got to decide when the risk of injury starts to outweigh the numbers.

Since we have him locked up for 2 more years, keep him for one, then trade him for a good, young left winger before he hits the free market. Depending on who's willing to trade, we could get a great deal for him.

Cole is making 4 mil for the next two seasons. Players who put up comparable numbers to Cole are: Henrik Zetterberg (2.43 mil), Brian Rolston (2.65 mil), Maxim Afinogenov (3.5 mil), Brendan Shanahan (5.3 mil including bonus), and Scott Gomez (10 mil). None of this guys had 4 more or less points than Cole.

I'd say that he's dead smack in the average of what his caliber player should get. The fact that he may be hard to negotiate with doesn't make him any less valuable of a player. I say you wait for his contract to expire and then offer him a new one. If he doesn't take it, fine. But it's going to be really hard to find a guy who can assume such an integral role on the team for less money than that.

Personally, it doesn't make sense to me to trade him for a young left winger, because if he plays like Cole, his salary will shoot up. Lots of players are difficult to negotiate with. Remember Danny Markov threatening to play in Russia if he didn't get a good deal? I know we traded him for Williams, but the fact that he was a tough sign doesn't mean that he wasn't a valuable part of our team.

Yeah, I know that Cole is very prone to injury. Its the reason why he hasnt played a full season in a long time. BUT, thats the price you pay for a gritty power forward that drives hard to the net. Ultimately, all that matters is that he has recorded 231 points with the canes in the last 5 seasons.

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I think you're overrating Cole. He's a great hockey player, and he's extremely fast when he's fully healthy. But the more time that passes, the more injury-prone he's going to become. It's a dangerous side effect of his style of play. You've eventually got to decide when the risk of injury starts to outweigh the numbers.

Since we have him locked up for 2 more years, keep him for one, then trade him for a good, young left winger before he hits the free market. Depending on who's willing to trade, we could get a great deal for him.

Cole is making 4 mil for the next two seasons. Players who put up comparable numbers to Cole are: Henrik Zetterberg (2.43 mil), Brian Rolston (2.65 mil), Maxim Afinogenov (3.5 mil), Brendan Shanahan (5.3 mil including bonus), and Scott Gomez (10 mil). None of this guys had 4 more or less points than Cole.

I'd say that he's dead smack in the average of what his caliber player should get. The fact that he may be hard to negotiate with doesn't make him any less valuable of a player. I say you wait for his contract to expire and then offer him a new one. If he doesn't take it, fine. But it's going to be really hard to find a guy who can assume such an integral role on the team for less money than that.

Personally, it doesn't make sense to me to trade him for a young left winger, because if he plays like Cole, his salary will shoot up. Lots of players are difficult to negotiate with. Remember Danny Markov threatening to play in Russia if he didn't get a good deal? I know we traded him for Williams, but the fact that he was a tough sign doesn't mean that he wasn't a valuable part of our team.

Yeah, I know that Cole is very prone to injury. Its the reason why he hasnt played a full season in a long time. BUT, thats the price you pay for a gritty power forward that drives hard to the net.

Good points overall but I'm not sure you worry about getting a young wing in return for fear of escalating salary. That's just the nature of the game and you have to get value for value. On another note, I've seen several posts about Cole playing the left wing, but he plays the right wing and Stillman the left.

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Those who argue in favor of keeping Cole are absolutely correct. Look at what a lack of grit meant to the Sabres. If they had more players that played like Cole, the Cup may have ended up in Western New York instead of the West Coast. As a Charlotte resident and huge Carolina Panthers fan, Cole's injury issues can be slightly compared to those of Dan Morgan, but unlike Morgan (who misses huge chunks of seasons), Cole misses games here and there, but always seems to come back with a vengeance. A long time hockey fan, I've always been a fan of tough players (John Tonelli, Wendel Clark, Darren McCarty) and Cole who play hockey the way it was meant to be played. Other players feed off the intensity these players bring. How many times did a big Cole hit, breakaway, or effort pay dividends for the Canes? You can't get rid of a player like that.

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I think you're overrating Cole. He's a great hockey player, and he's extremely fast when he's fully healthy. But the more time that passes, the more injury-prone he's going to become. It's a dangerous side effect of his style of play. You've eventually got to decide when the risk of injury starts to outweigh the numbers.

Since we have him locked up for 2 more years, keep him for one, then trade him for a good, young left winger before he hits the free market. Depending on who's willing to trade, we could get a great deal for him.

Cole is making 4 mil for the next two seasons. Players who put up comparable numbers to Cole are: Henrik Zetterberg (2.43 mil), Brian Rolston (2.65 mil), Maxim Afinogenov (3.5 mil), Brendan Shanahan (5.3 mil including bonus), and Scott Gomez (10 mil). None of this guys had 4 more or less points than Cole.

I'd say that he's dead smack in the average of what his caliber player should get. The fact that he may be hard to negotiate with doesn't make him any less valuable of a player. I say you wait for his contract to expire and then offer him a new one. If he doesn't take it, fine. But it's going to be really hard to find a guy who can assume such an integral role on the team for less money than that.

Personally, it doesn't make sense to me to trade him for a young left winger, because if he plays like Cole, his salary will shoot up. Lots of players are difficult to negotiate with. Remember Danny Markov threatening to play in Russia if he didn't get a good deal? I know we traded him for Williams, but the fact that he was a tough sign doesn't mean that he wasn't a valuable part of our team.

Yeah, I know that Cole is very prone to injury. Its the reason why he hasnt played a full season in a long time. BUT, thats the price you pay for a gritty power forward that drives hard to the net.

Good points overall but I'm not sure you worry about getting a young wing in return for fear of escalating salary. That's just the nature of the game and you have to get value for value. On another note, I've seen several posts about Cole playing the left wing, but he plays the right wing and Stillman the left.

Sorry, I don't think I phrased it right. What I was trying to say is that there wouldn't be any net benefits (in terms of scorign) from getting a younger guy, and there wouldn't be any financial ones either, because if he was just as good, his salary would still be high.

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Those who argue in favor of keeping Cole are absolutely correct. Look at what a lack of grit meant to the Sabres. If they had more players that played like Cole, the Cup may have ended up in Western New York instead of the West Coast. As a Charlotte resident and huge Carolina Panthers fan, Cole's injury issues can be slightly compared to those of Dan Morgan, but unlike Morgan (who misses huge chunks of seasons), Cole misses games here and there, but always seems to come back with a vengeance. A long time hockey fan, I've always been a fan of tough players (John Tonelli, Wendel Clark, Darren McCarty) and Cole who play hockey the way it was meant to be played. Other players feed off the intensity these players bring. How many times did a big Cole hit, breakaway, or effort pay dividends for the Canes? You can't get rid of a player like that.

There is no doubt an intangible quality to Cole. It's easy to forget that he risked his career and serious re-injury by coming back to play in the Stanley Cup Finals. He didn't come back to a series that was basically over just to make a token appearance either. He came in and, in my opinion, set the set the tone for the style of play that won the Cup.

The Canes put it in neutral after going up 3-1 in the series and stopped playing aggressively as Edmonton started to get more confidence. Torres and Moreau were pounding the Canes every chance they could get and the Oilers were causing the Canes to look shaky and unsure. In the game Cole returned they still got beaten badly but he set a tone with his old style of play. He took a cheap shot right off the bat from Moreau but got up and played his all-out style.

Back in Raleigh, Edmonton had all the momentum and the Canes looked to be on their heels. In that game the Canes turned the tables on the Oilers and pounded them into submission with a crazy hit count, led by Cole. He had something like 8-9 hits in a game where the Canes regained their confidence by refusing to be bullied and becoming the aggressor. Most accounts recall Cole making an improbable comeback for the last 2 games while I remember him being a difference-maker.

People want to talk about the free-skating style the Canes used to win the Cup but that is misleading. They did that in the regular season but in the playoffs they showed they could grind it out and win ugly. Their even strength scoring wasn't there so they relied on the PP, goaltending and a gritty mentality.

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Those who argue in favor of keeping Cole are absolutely correct. Look at what a lack of grit meant to the Sabres. If they had more players that played like Cole, the Cup may have ended up in Western New York instead of the West Coast. As a Charlotte resident and huge Carolina Panthers fan, Cole's injury issues can be slightly compared to those of Dan Morgan, but unlike Morgan (who misses huge chunks of seasons), Cole misses games here and there, but always seems to come back with a vengeance. A long time hockey fan, I've always been a fan of tough players (John Tonelli, Wendel Clark, Darren McCarty) and Cole who play hockey the way it was meant to be played. Other players feed off the intensity these players bring. How many times did a big Cole hit, breakaway, or effort pay dividends for the Canes? You can't get rid of a player like that.

There is no doubt an intangible quality to Cole. It's easy to forget that he risked his career and serious re-injury by coming back to play in the Stanley Cup Finals. He didn't come back to a series that was basically over just to make a token appearance either. He came in and, in my opinion, set the set the tone for the style of play that won the Cup.

The Canes put it in neutral after going up 3-1 in the series and stopped playing aggressively as Edmonton started to get more confidence. Torres and Moreau were pounding the Canes every chance they could get and the Oilers were causing the Canes to look shaky and unsure. In the game Cole returned they still got beaten badly but he set a tone with his old style of play. He took a cheap shot right off the bat from Moreau but got up and played his all-out style.

Back in Raleigh, Edmonton had all the momentum and the Canes looked to be on their heels. In that game the Canes turned the tables on the Oilers and pounded them into submission with a crazy hit count, led by Cole. He had something like 8-9 hits in a game where the Canes regained their confidence by refusing to be bullied and becoming the aggressor. Most accounts recall Cole making an improbable comeback for the last 2 games while I remember him being a difference-maker.

People want to talk about the free-skating style the Canes used to win the Cup but that is misleading. They did that in the regular season but in the playoffs they showed they could grind it out and win ugly. Their even strength scoring wasn't there so they relied on the PP, goaltending and a gritty mentality.

Yep, we out hit them in game seven like 40-20. The fact that Cole came back to play the last two games is a testament to his grit and intensity that makes him worth the four million dollars that we shell out for him.

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Those who argue in favor of keeping Cole are absolutely correct. Look at what a lack of grit meant to the Sabres. If they had more players that played like Cole, the Cup may have ended up in Western New York instead of the West Coast. As a Charlotte resident and huge Carolina Panthers fan, Cole's injury issues can be slightly compared to those of Dan Morgan, but unlike Morgan (who misses huge chunks of seasons), Cole misses games here and there, but always seems to come back with a vengeance. A long time hockey fan, I've always been a fan of tough players (John Tonelli, Wendel Clark, Darren McCarty) and Cole who play hockey the way it was meant to be played. Other players feed off the intensity these players bring. How many times did a big Cole hit, breakaway, or effort pay dividends for the Canes? You can't get rid of a player like that.

There is no doubt an intangible quality to Cole. It's easy to forget that he risked his career and serious re-injury by coming back to play in the Stanley Cup Finals. He didn't come back to a series that was basically over just to make a token appearance either. He came in and, in my opinion, set the set the tone for the style of play that won the Cup.

The Canes put it in neutral after going up 3-1 in the series and stopped playing aggressively as Edmonton started to get more confidence. Torres and Moreau were pounding the Canes every chance they could get and the Oilers were causing the Canes to look shaky and unsure. In the game Cole returned they still got beaten badly but he set a tone with his old style of play. He took a cheap shot right off the bat from Moreau but got up and played his all-out style.

Back in Raleigh, Edmonton had all the momentum and the Canes looked to be on their heels. In that game the Canes turned the tables on the Oilers and pounded them into submission with a crazy hit count, led by Cole. He had something like 8-9 hits in a game where the Canes regained their confidence by refusing to be bullied and becoming the aggressor. Most accounts recall Cole making an improbable comeback for the last 2 games while I remember him being a difference-maker.

People want to talk about the free-skating style the Canes used to win the Cup but that is misleading. They did that in the regular season but in the playoffs they showed they could grind it out and win ugly. Their even strength scoring wasn't there so they relied on the PP, goaltending and a gritty mentality.

Yep, we out hit them in game seven like 40-20. The fact that Cole came back to play the last two games is a testament to his grit and intensity that makes him worth the four million dollars that we shell out for him.

Based on his ability to take over a game single-handedly with his speed and power and can get you 30 goals makes him worth his money on a relative basis. The fact that he will forecheck and play physically makes him a rare enough combination to think long and hard about who you would get in return if he is ever traded.

Using one the guys on your list, Afinogenov as an example, is a one-dimensional player who wouldn't bring equal value in a trade. He could replace the goals but the Canes system relies on a consistent forecheck and he doesn't bring that nor the same disruption factor.

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I don't think anyone is questioning what Cole brings to the game, I for one hope he retires here with numbers similiar to Francis. But from a rumor standpoint I could see why he might get shopped and hope that we would get equal goods in return.

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I don't think anyone is questioning what Cole brings to the game, I for one hope he retires here with numbers similiar to Francis. But from a rumor standpoint I could see why he might get shopped and hope that we would get equal goods in return.

No doubt his inability to stay healthy or the thinking that his physical play will shorten his prime and/or career causes management to wonder about his future. But with all that in mind they offered a 5-year deal similar to Williams during the off-season. I do think they are now more concerned that the neck problems are more of an impact that originally thought.

But the tough part is getting equal value. He is not elite but he is an uncommon package of skills that impact what others can do on the ice, e.g. Staal.

I don't think the rumors, especially since they are floated by Eklund, have much if any basis in fact. But I do think this will be a judgment year for Cole. If the can stay relatively healthy and play at a high level, I think the Canes will want to extend or re-sign him beyond the year that would be left on his deal. If he misses chunks of time again, and if there isn't a deep playoff run, I think he will be dealt.

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I for one, hope that they don't trade Cole. He's a brilliant all-round player, scores goals, sets up goals, and he's not afraid to go into the corners hard and come out with the puck, but most of all he's a team player. I reckon he could be a future Captain.

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I think, people are over looking Williams... He signed a 5 year contract with us. I think, he is going to be the next captain. Most of the times, the press intereviews Williams in the locker room.

I hope, that Cole stays here after his contract is up but I would not hold my breath on it, the same with Staal. They both maybe looking at NC and Raleigh and saying this is the place where we want to raise our families. Unlike, Gomez in NY who is not married yet with kids...

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Here we go again...

HURRICANES STILL SEEKING A CENTRE.

RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER: Luke DeCock reports Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford is still in the market for a third line center. Having signed UFA centre Jeff Hamilton last week, it's believed Rutherford would prefer to use Hamilton in a utility role and perhaps move disgruntled d-man Anton Babchuk in a trade for that third line centre. Rutherford also claims the deal to shake up his blueline reported two weeks ago is still alive, if not active. It was said to involve 'Canes blueliner Niclas Wallin.

Spector's note: Hat tip to GJ Berg and "Matt T." Interesting bit about that supposed trade. It was believed to be with the Flyers for Joni Pitkanen but with his move to Edmonton it obviously doesn't involve him.

I am thinking the Canes are going to get Matt Cullen back from the Rangers. The Rangers are trying to clear some cap space so they can possibly sign Souray. With the Drury and Gomez signing, Cullen is expendable.

I would feel like Eklund, but he is never right...

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