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Erik Cole has been a corner stone to the Carolina Hurricanes franchise and has been on both Stanley Cup final teams in 2002 and 2006. However, the last couple of years Cole has been fighting the injury bug which continued this past season.
Erik Cole was re-aquired at last years deadline and seemed to be the missing link and sent the team on a run that wouldn’t end until a sweep by Pittsburgh in the Conference finals. This year the injury bug struck Cole hard as he fractured his leg the 2nd game of the season and never really occured. Erik Cole played in only 40 games this season with 11 goals and 5 assist for a total of 16 points. When Cole came back from the leg injury it was not long before he was injuried with a upper-body issue that wouldn’t see him return til February. Cole seemed to have a decent late season run to finish with the 16 points. Next year will be an interesting year for Erik as he is on the last year of his two year contract. Cole has never had the same production since his broken neck on a cheap shot from Brooks Orpik in 2006.
If Cole can stay healthy next season he will be given every chance and will be on a contract year. My prediction is that Erik will probably be at tops a 20 to 25 goal scorer, but will bring the physical side and speed that could help him stay on the top line with Eric Staal next season. However, we will just have to wait and see if he can see healthy that is Erik’s key to having a better healthier 2010-2011 season.