Somehow the only forward on this list. Erik Cole is a living Carolina Hurricanes legend. Which is saying something for a forward who never topped 35 goals. And that was for the now very much disliked Montreal Canadiens. But what is fascinating about Cole is that he almost always ends up back in Carolina, one way or another.
Drafted in the third round of the 1998 NHL draft, Erik Cole returned to Clarkson University for a a pair of years before joining the Cincinnati Cyclones. He Finally made the move up to the NHL right on time for the 2001-2002 season joining Bret Hedican in helping the Carolina Hurricanes make their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance.
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Just like Hedican, he strapped his skates tighter and worked hard to help the team win their first first Stanley Cup. While not actually getting on the board during that magical run due to the egregious injury by then Penguin Brook Orpik, he managed to get on the roster for games six and seven, of the Cup Finals and helped indirectly set up the plays that helped seal the win.
Even after being traded to the Edmonton Oilers in the 2008 offseason he found his way back to the Carolina Hurricanes on another trade joining the team on another deep run into the playoffs that ended in a sweep to the Penguins in the Conference Finals.
The 2011-2012 season started a time in Cole’s life where he would jump between several teams. Signing a four year deal with the Montreal Canadiens he was traded twice to the Dallas Stars and eventually the Detroit Red Wings before returning home to Carolina in retirement.
Today Cole is one of the greatest supporters of the team and the fanbase and can be seen at virtually every Hurricanes game where he gives away a suite he pays for to children suffering from critical illness every game. Cole is also always seen around team events and always has time to give to the fans. A true humble American.
Question for CC readers: Who is your favorite American Player?