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Erik Cole

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So let me get this right. Do well and be traded? :blink:

I didn't say the Hurricanes should jump at any opportunity to trade him away, just said that other teams will likely be mored interested in Whitney than they would be Cole.

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I didn't say the Hurricanes should jump at any opportunity to trade him away, just said that other teams will likely be mored interested in Whitney than they would be Cole.

If all you do is look at stats, then yes, Whitney would be better than Cole.

However, you need to look at the overall picture. Whitney is 35 and has two years left on his contract at 3.55 a year. Cole is 28 and has just one at 4.0 a year. Cole is 6'2" 205 lbs, so not "huge" but a decent size. Whitney is listed at 5'10" 180 lbs (which I'm sure many here would say is very generous), and is very much on the small side for a NHL player. Whitney is more of a playmaker, while Cole is a power forward. While playmakers are good (worth more than a grinder), a good, proven power forward isn't as easy to find and demands a whole lot more money when it comes to who you want to have on your team. So if you're a GM from another team looking at trade proposals with the Canes and you look beyond the basic stat of points scored, you've got one player that is younger, bigger, harder hitting, and fills a role that is much tougher to find. The only thing that really stands out for Whitney is veteran leadership, but then doesn't Cole have that too at this point? Along with great playoff experience (two SCF's with one cup).

To put this as simple as it can be put, the same reason so many people here want to keep Cole over other players is the exact same reason why GM's of other teams are going to want him more than any other player in a trade.

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I'd take another look at Whitney's career statistics before you call him a "product of the system". Three straight years with 60+ points with the Florida Panthers from '97-'00, two straight years with 60+ points with the Columbus Blue Jackets from '01-'03, and two straight years with 60+ points with the Carolina Hurricanes from '06-'08. As a matter of fact, in his 16 years in the NHL, Whitney has scored below 40 points in just five of those years and all five were years in which he didn't play the majority of the season.

Personally, I think Whitney's contract and production make him a more valuable pawn to trade than Cole. I just don't expect too many teams will line up to trade away a solid defenseman for a player they may only have for one year.

Stats are nice, but it doesn't show the whole picture. Not to mention Whitney was younger back when he put up those stats. He is a great playmaker, but teams have great playmakers.

You can't discount that the guy is 35, has groin issues, now has ankle issues. Other teams know this and you aren't going to trade him for a 20-22 year stud defenseman, not going to happen.

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Okay, I'm an infrequent poster but a serious reader/lurker....it seems to me that we're all dancing around the real deal here. I don't believe that JR wants to trade Cole at all....Staal loves playing with him. His is a proven power forward who hits, has speed, and when he puts his mind to it, can even play a solid defensive game....yes he has the occasional lapse or seems to take shift(s) or nights off, but I've always believed that was a function of lingering injuries/pain from injuries...and many in the league know that he's a great power forward = pretty valuable asset. But he's 1 year away from UFA status and he's had serious injuries in the past that fairly or not have had him labeled as an "injury risk". This, in many ways diminishes his value.....and might not even get us a top 4 d-man in a straight up 1 for 1 trade scenario (see Bieksa, for example).

It seems pretty clear to me that Ruutu was acquired as a "Cole-like" player much as Andrew Ladd had been "slotted" there by many board posters (trade Cole and move Ladd up to his line was a reccurring theme in previous years). Yet, in truth our most valuable trading chips are neither Ruutu, Cole, or Whitney....our most valuable trading asset(s) are Williams and Samsonov (yes, that's right Sammy). Both are scorers, relatively young in Sammy's case, pretty good puck handlers, fast for the new NHL and signed to reasonable "longish" term contracts....yet they both have their own issues - Williams coming off of his second major knee injury and Sammy, well his inconsistency is seemingly legend in the NHL...but both have in many ways proven themselves....now nobody, myself included, wants to see any of those guys go - not Cole, Ruutu, Whitney, Williams, or Samsonov....but this is a comment about pure value AND the only way, as a couple of previous posters have intelligently mentioned, to get the quality assets that we need is to trade away similar quality assets. We have a surplus of forwards (allegedly) and we need defense ( or we need to get a group of guys on the ice that play better defense (see 2005-2006 Caroline Hurricanes)....but that's for another discussion....So with Cole's "difficult" upcoming contract negotiations, injury history, and "chemistry" here, his value as a trading chip seems less that I have seen mentioned in posts here and elsewhere....

But if you start throwing around a 25 year old Justin Williams' name, you will get some serious fluids flowing from other GM's....now with Sammy's resurgence and what is really an affordable contract, he too is a serious chip in the big Poker game. So it seems to me that as much as I hate to propose this, one of those two guys are the key pieces of any trade for the elusive "young stud" defenseman....I would think that some combination of Williams and Whitney or Sammy and Whitney to any of Nashville, Vancouver, Chicago (no Sammy in this scenario), or even San Jose gets us back Suter, Bieksa, Barker (or Keith/Seabrook), or Ehrhoff(or Carle) plus a prospect and a pick (perhaps even a 3rd liner thrown in). You might even be able to throw Frankie into the deal which would open the door for Seids and clear cap room....

This scenario sheds something like $5.8 to $7 million in salary (or more w/Frankie's $2.2 mil in there; but probably costs us $3.5 to $4 million to pay the young stud dman in the future). We would also have to pay the prospect/3rd liner. But here should be "extra" left for a FA signing or two. And it yields a bit of a bigger team, a very fast team, a better defense, and we still have 3 very strong scoring lines that might look something like this:

Cole/Staal/Eaves

Samsonov-Williams (whichever one isn't part of the deal)/Brindy/Ruutu

Walker/Cullen/LaRose - Hamilton or "b" player coming back as part of the trade

Conboy/Sutter/Letowski or other FA

Gleason (get him signed)/Young Stud dman

Corvo/FA signing (or Kaberle if not part of the deal)

Seids/Wallin

Borer or depth dman

We then have cash for a free agent signing or two, get our young stud dman, clear the log jam at forward, and have a fast, gritty, team. And we should have a bit more leeway in our upcoming Cole negotiations.....and we get some pretty good value for an aging Wizard....

Go ahead flame away

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I give up also. But its going to be dumb of us trading him instead of whitney, even if whitney brings in a little less.

it isn't about which player brings what, it is about business!! Cole is an UFA after this season, a trade now brings us a major return at a time when we need that on D. At the end of the season Cole will command big $$$ if he has a decent season and I don't see us paying more than we currently are. If we don't trade him now or at the deadline we get nothing in return.

all things being equal then sure whitney gets traded but whitney has a couple of years left on his contract. you also have to factor in Cole being difficult at contract time.

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Well then, keep everything the same except deal Kaberle, whitney, and a pick (anything other than 1st, unless we get a 1st back) to Chicago for Cam Barker, or Nashville for Suter.

Wow, i never saw a thing when pitkanen wanted 5+

you are still missing the point, Cole is difficult to negotiate with, wouldn't be surprised if he demands double what he is making now, if we wait until the end of the season then he walks and we get nothing!!

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it isn't about which player brings what, it is about business!! Cole is an UFA after this season, a trade now brings us a major return at a time when we need that on D. At the end of the season Cole will command big $$$ if he has a decent season and I don't see us paying more than we currently are. If we don't trade him now or at the deadline we get nothing in return.

all things being equal then sure whitney gets traded but whitney has a couple of years left on his contract. you also have to factor in Cole being difficult at contract time.

Exactly, the Carolina Hurricanes is a business. Every player is an asset, and if you have an asset that will do more for less money, then that's who you will go with. Now I love Cole, but I can understand the reasons to trade him and can accept that.

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I didn't say the Hurricanes should jump at any opportunity to trade him away, just said that other teams will likely be mored interested in Whitney than they would be Cole.

NO way!!

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But if you start throwing around a 25 year old Justin Williams' name, you will get some serious fluids flowing from other GM's....now with Sammy's resurgence and what is really an affordable contract, he too is a serious chip in the big Poker game. So it seems to me that as much as I hate to propose this, one of those two guys are the key pieces of any trade for the elusive "young stud" defenseman....I would think that some combination of Williams and Whitney or Sammy and Whitney to any of Nashville, Vancouver, Chicago (no Sammy in this scenario), or even San Jose gets us back Suter, Bieksa, Barker (or Keith/Seabrook), or Ehrhoff(or Carle) plus a prospect and a pick (perhaps even a 3rd liner thrown in). You might even be able to throw Frankie into the deal which would open the door for Seids and clear cap room....

I agree with all you have said about Williams. I've even mentioned before I wouldn't be surprised to see Williams be the guy, however, JR will likely try everything else before offering up Williams. Why do I say this: 1) his contract; 2) he plays in all situations; 3) impact to the team. Loosing Williams will have more of an impact on this team then say a Whitney, Cole, Eaves, Ruutu. But it isn't out of the realm if JR bombs out on everyone else.

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I didn't say the Hurricanes should jump at any opportunity to trade him away, just said that other teams will likely be mored interested in Whitney than they would be Cole.

Exactly. Cole might not necessarily be our best trade commodity. Lets face it, Samsonov is going to do the same thing as whitney, but better. We dont need the Wizard any longer.

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I would rather trade Cole than Williams. He's young, has a nice contract, and as CLF said, he plays in every situation. I think he will be a very big piece in our organization for long time to com.

Also, we are very deep at left wing, Cole, Smasonov, Ruutu, Whitney. At right wing we have Williams then Walker and Eaves. I think it would be a mistake to trade our best right winger leaving Walker and Eaves our top right wingers.

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Exactly. Cole might not necessarily be our best trade commodity. Lets face it, Samsonov is going to do the same thing as whitney, but better. We dont need the Wizard any longer.

You still aren't looking at it from the business side, we will get more for Cole than we will for Whitney. They are not equal assets.

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If you have to trade with teams in the West, Samsonov will probably not give you much. I have read that he doesn't like to play defense. The West is known for their defense.

Williams and Cole can play defense, physical, young, and can score at least 20 goals. This is appealing. Williams would be more appealing than Cole but I thought he was close to being an untouchable.

I can see Ruutu being trade bait along with something else. Ruutu alone would not get you Suter, if he was up on the trading block.

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I like each and every forward on the team. But the fact is that we will be an excellent team if we exchange any one of our 10 top nine forwards for a top line defenseman (and make one more dman aquisition). The only one we just can't afford to trade is Staal. Anyone else who can bring the right dman in exchange could go and we will still have an offense to reckon with. Of course it still all comes down to Cam staying consistant.

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The only one we just can't afford to trade is Staal. Anyone else who can bring the right dman in exchange could go and we will still have an offense to reckon with.

So you would include Brindy in there - interesting. I can't see JR trading him but not impossible.

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I think that the likelihood of a Brindy trade is exeedingly low. Of all of the non-Staal forwards I would think that he and Cullen would be the least likely to trade if for no other reason than we are not very deep at center. If we did trade him we would have to either include another center in the deal, or pick up a center somewhere. Given his role in the cup and his leadership role, and his age, this would be a real long shot. Still, if this ended up being the only way to get a big time dman in here, I would think it might be done. It is highly unlikely but not inconceivable. Trading Staal is inconceivable.

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I think that the likelihood of a Brindy trade is exeedingly low. Of all of the non-Staal forwards I would think that he and Cullen would be the least likely to trade if for no other reason than we are not very deep at center. If we did trade him we would have to either include another center in the deal, or pick up a center somewhere. Given his role in the cup and his leadership role, and his age, this would be a real long shot. Still, if this ended up being the only way to get a big time dman in here, I would think it might be done. It is highly unlikely but not inconceivable. Trading Staal is inconceivable.

I agree, I don't see us trading Staal and I think Sutter for the time being is untouchable.

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Cole is gone - period

Why? He's in a place where he's anat expendable piece on this roster, his production has been in a slow decline since his breakout year, yet his stock is still extremely high to the point where you can get a major piece back in a trade including him. Plus, he's injury prone. Sure, his injuries are beyond his control, but that in itself is the very definition of injury prone. He can't control how often he gets hurt, yet it happens all the time. He's out for an extended period at least once every year and when that happens, he's just not worth the $4 million we're paying him now, let alone the $5-$6 million he'll command next offseason.

He's not worth keeping around. Sure, he might have a great year this year, but so could many other players we have who we could put on the Staal line. If its between keeping him for another season or trading him away for a major defensive piece, its a no-brainer in terms of shipping him away. It just doesn't make sense to keep him when we have the needs we do.

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Exactly. Cole might not necessarily be our best trade commodity. Lets face it, Samsonov is going to do the same thing as whitney, but better. We dont need the Wizard any longer.

nobody is going to give us the help we need for a Ray Whitney. You'll get a solid 2nd-line dman for him, but thats not what we need. His stock just isn't good enough.

What we need is a great 1st line dman, and that is something we can get (and if not get, we can get extremely close to getting) with Cole. His stock is just higher and other teams know it. As has already been brought up, teams know what we have too much of, and thats forwards. They also know we're going to have trouble keeping both Staal and Cole next year. They're not going to trade for one of our lesser pieces when they know they can just sit around and wait a year to get Cole. However, there will be teams out there that will be wanting to trade for Cole to get a leg up on the competition and have the chance to sign him long term long before anyone else can talk to him.

At this point, knowing what the needs are and knowing what our surplus is, I don't see anyone talking to us unless Cole is involved. As for all these other deals that keep getting brought up, like thinking if we package Whitney with Wallin or Kaberle and expecting someone else to give us a Pitkanen for them, get real. If you're the other GM and you make that deal, you're off your rocker. These guys aren't stupid, deals like that won't happen.

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nobody is going to give us the help we need for a Ray Whitney. You'll get a solid 2nd-line dman for him, but thats not what we need. His stock just isn't good enough.

What we need is a great 1st line dman, and that is something we can get (and if not get, we can get extremely close to getting) with Cole. His stock is just higher and other teams know it. As has already been brought up, teams know what we have too much of, and thats forwards. They also know we're going to have trouble keeping both Staal and Cole next year. They're not going to trade for one of our lesser pieces when they know they can just sit around and wait a year to get Cole. However, there will be teams out there that will be wanting to trade for Cole to get a leg up on the competition and have the chance to sign him long term long before anyone else can talk to him.

At this point, knowing what the needs are and knowing what our surplus is, I don't see anyone talking to us unless Cole is involved. As for all these other deals that keep getting brought up, like thinking if we package Whitney with Wallin or Kaberle and expecting someone else to give us a Pitkanen for them, get real. If you're the other GM and you make that deal, you're off your rocker. These guys aren't stupid, deals like that won't happen.

Great post, well thought out!! too often folks look at things from a fan perspective and forget this is a business.

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Cole is gone - period

Why? He's in a place where he's an expendable piece on this roster, his production has been in a slow decline since his breakout year, yet his stock is still extremely high to the point where you can get a major piece back in a trade including him. Plus, he's injury prone.

I am continually amazed by the pieces of logic being put forth here.

How would we know what his stock is, especially "extremely high" while you lay out a case why it should be low... Slow decline, injury prone, and lately from other folks, will be tough to negotiate with and will demand too much money next season.

I'm sure GM's are all in a long line waiting to take on that baggage. Maybe we are the only ones to know about his "downside".

It's not like the whole world is going to be fooled. I'm not sure his stock is high anywhere right now. Do I think it should be higher? Yes, but no one is going to overvalue him when the numbers don't force them to. Bottom line, we are in the weak bargaining position with Cole, not the strong position.

Also, to the folks who claim that Staal or Williams would never be traded, remember that Gretzky was traded. Every player has a value. If you get superior value back, you should make the trade, and would be stupid not to. Crosby for Staal and a 1st rounder, for example. It's not going to happen, but I am sure that was said about Gretzky too. There is always a price.

Who wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall for just 1 week of GM insider info? Wouldn't it be great to see what is really being said out there about these guys? I'm sure we can't even imagine the half of it.

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Okay, I'm an infrequent poster but a serious reader/lurker....it seems to me that we're all dancing around the real deal here. I don't believe that JR wants to trade Cole at all....Staal loves playing with him. His is a proven power forward who hits, has speed, and when he puts his mind to it, can even play a solid defensive game....yes he has the occasional lapse or seems to take shift(s) or nights off, but I've always believed that was a function of lingering injuries/pain from injuries...and many in the league know that he's a great power forward = pretty valuable asset. But he's 1 year away from UFA status and he's had serious injuries in the past that fairly or not have had him labeled as an "injury risk". This, in many ways diminishes his value.....and might not even get us a top 4 d-man in a straight up 1 for 1 trade scenario (see Bieksa, for example).

It seems pretty clear to me that Ruutu was acquired as a "Cole-like" player much as Andrew Ladd had been "slotted" there by many board posters (trade Cole and move Ladd up to his line was a reccurring theme in previous years). Yet, in truth our most valuable trading chips are neither Ruutu, Cole, or Whitney....our most valuable trading asset(s) are Williams and Samsonov (yes, that's right Sammy). Both are scorers, relatively young in Sammy's case, pretty good puck handlers, fast for the new NHL and signed to reasonable "longish" term contracts....yet they both have their own issues - Williams coming off of his second major knee injury and Sammy, well his inconsistency is seemingly legend in the NHL...but both have in many ways proven themselves....now nobody, myself included, wants to see any of those guys go - not Cole, Ruutu, Whitney, Williams, or Samsonov....but this is a comment about pure value AND the only way, as a couple of previous posters have intelligently mentioned, to get the quality assets that we need is to trade away similar quality assets. We have a surplus of forwards (allegedly) and we need defense ( or we need to get a group of guys on the ice that play better defense (see 2005-2006 Caroline Hurricanes)....but that's for another discussion....So with Cole's "difficult" upcoming contract negotiations, injury history, and "chemistry" here, his value as a trading chip seems less that I have seen mentioned in posts here and elsewhere....

But if you start throwing around a 25 year old Justin Williams' name, you will get some serious fluids flowing from other GM's....now with Sammy's resurgence and what is really an affordable contract, he too is a serious chip in the big Poker game. So it seems to me that as much as I hate to propose this, one of those two guys are the key pieces of any trade for the elusive "young stud" defenseman....I would think that some combination of Williams and Whitney or Sammy and Whitney to any of Nashville, Vancouver, Chicago (no Sammy in this scenario), or even San Jose gets us back Suter, Bieksa, Barker (or Keith/Seabrook), or Ehrhoff(or Carle) plus a prospect and a pick (perhaps even a 3rd liner thrown in). You might even be able to throw Frankie into the deal which would open the door for Seids and clear cap room....

This scenario sheds something like $5.8 to $7 million in salary (or more w/Frankie's $2.2 mil in there; but probably costs us $3.5 to $4 million to pay the young stud dman in the future). We would also have to pay the prospect/3rd liner. But here should be "extra" left for a FA signing or two. And it yields a bit of a bigger team, a very fast team, a better defense, and we still have 3 very strong scoring lines that might look something like this:

Cole/Staal/Eaves

Samsonov-Williams (whichever one isn't part of the deal)/Brindy/Ruutu

Walker/Cullen/LaRose - Hamilton or "b" player coming back as part of the trade

Conboy/Sutter/Letowski or other FA

Gleason (get him signed)/Young Stud dman

Corvo/FA signing (or Kaberle if not part of the deal)

Seids/Wallin

Borer or depth dman

We then have cash for a free agent signing or two, get our young stud dman, clear the log jam at forward, and have a fast, gritty, team. And we should have a bit more leeway in our upcoming Cole negotiations.....and we get some pretty good value for an aging Wizard....

Go ahead flame away

Wow, no flames, just applause. Too many good points to mention.

Summary: Value will need to be offered to get value. Every reason stated in this thread that Cole is the guy we should trade diminishes his actual trade value in reality. We will actually have to part with someone more valuable in order to seriously address our D-man problem. Excellent points.

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Good post NotOpie, and we hope you post more.

Cole for Pitkanen was mentioned on Spectors again today:

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson in response to reader mail regarding Joni Pitkanen doubts the Oilers would swap him for Carolina's Erik Cole as the latter is five years older and wouldn't consider it a fair swap, noting the Oilers appear torn over what to do with Pitkanen given his skills but also his injury history and their depth on the blueline.

SPECTOR'S NOTE: Pitkanen could also end up a target for an offer sheet if the Oilers haven't re-signed him by July 1st, as it appears also that money is a sticking point in retaining him.

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i was just listening to eklunds rumor cast and he mentioned more than once that the rangers were interested in cole. everyone knows eklunds track record so...

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I do believe Cole is our biggest bait, but its not going to be a straight up deal, Cole for whoever. Unless the other team has an extension in place JR will have to sweeten the pot.

My gut has been telling me for the last 2 weeks that our deal is made on June 20th and that 14th overall pick is included in that deal.

*if Ruutu continues to ask for top 6 money, his rights will be moved by July 1st. Which in my mind will save Cole from being traded.

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