All Things Hockey In The Carolinas

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Erik Cole traded back to Carolina - becomes 87th former player to return

So much for that Erik Cole to Boston rumor. (photo: Edmonton Journal)
I was never quite comfortable seeing him in this jersey and apparently neither was he. Today in somewhat of a surprise move, Erik Cole was returned to his comfort zone in Raleigh via a trade with the Oilers. In went down like this hee-aah:

CAR: Justin Williams to LA Kings for Patrick O'Sullivan and a draft pick.
EDM: Erik Cole and a pick to Carolina for Patrick O'Sullivan. Edmonton then used the pick that Carolina traded via LA and acquired Ales Kotalik from Buffalo.

That's not confusing at all is it?

I say that is was somewhat of a surprise move in that it was done at the last second before the 3:00 PM trading cutoff. Also, JR had said all along that nobody was expecting much to stir up in regards to trades before the deadline. What is NOT surprising at all is that an X-Cane is back with the team (see Vasicek, Cullen, Bayda, hell - even Coach Mo).

Why this trade might work out:

Erik Cole was Eric Staal's roommate on the road and usually was on Staal's wing. With the bull-rushing Cole back on a line with his BFF Staal - it could obviously increase both players production levels.

#26 is a rare Hurricanes system guy that was drafted and his play only got better as the team did.

Jimmy Boy Rutherford obviously thinks that Cole will re-sign in the summer with Carolina for LESS than the $4 million per he's been getting.

The grass isn't always greener on the other side is it? Although he was traded away over the summer - the general assumption was that Carolina couldn't afford to re-sign him as an UFA.

Why the trade might not work out:

Erik has been healthy all season as an Oiler - something that he rarely could do as a Cane. If he misses anytime in the remaining season due to injury than you could consider this a lost cause.

All of a sudden, Cole is 30 years of age and will be 31 in November. Being 31 in regards to the rest of the league's age is like being an antique.

His point production was down this year. Partly because he never fit in Oil Country and partly because of "off again - on again" effort that was one of his only downfalls.

Only time will tell how things will pan out. There will be a "Farewell Justin Williams" post within a few days time. For now, Welcome Home Erik and Go Canes!