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Ken Medlin

Cole and 'Canes both needed deal

Posted July 1, 2009

The Carolina Hurricanes needed Erik Cole, but Cole may have needed the ‘Canes even more.

One day before the free-agent deadline, it appeared the two parties were on their way to a split. Negotiations were breaking down and Jim Rutherford was dropping hints that Carolina was moving on without Cole.

Then both sides blinked.

Erik Cole may never again be the goal-scoring machine he seemed on the path to becoming before Brooks Orpik’s infamous hit left Cole with a truly frightening neck injury.

But one thing is for certain: Cole was a much better player when he rejoined the Canes than he ever was in his half-season with Edmonton. And the Hurricanes were exponentially better with Cole in their lineup, as evidenced by their 12-3-2 record after reacquiring Cole.

Some players just “fit” with certain teams. Erik Cole “fits” the Hurricanes, and the ‘Canes seem to “fit” him.

Cole’s drop in production warranted his drop in salary – from $4 million last season to $2.8 million next season. No doubt that was a bitter pill to swallow. Let’s face it, no one – rich or poor – ever wants to take a pay cut. But in the end, Cole and the ‘Canes found a price point which satisfied both.

And both are better served for it...

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  • Gunnstigator Jul 1, 9:13 p.m.

    I'm happy and relieved to see #26 returning to the Canes. It's a win-win situation, and both sides seem pleased with the decision. Good to see JR is true to his word in trying to keep as much of the team intact as possible. Let's Go Canes!

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