RALEIGH, N.C. -- Montreal forward Erik Cole makes his first visit to Carolina after signing a four-year contract with the Canadiens at the start of free agency last July. Always one of Carolina's most popular players, Cole is familiar with returning to Raleigh in another NHL uniform. He was traded to Edmonton before the 2008-09 season, only to be brought back at the trade deadline later that season.
"No matter what the circumstances are, even with being traded to Edmonton, you commit to it and commit to your teammates," Cole said on Wednesday morning. "It's part of the job. There are some things in this business you can't control no matter who you are playing for. You just come to work every day and play hard."
Montreal coach Jacques Martin said Hal Gill will return to the lineup after missing time with a virus. Martin did not reveal which defenseman will come out of the lineup.
It was definitely emotional. I really appreciated the fans. It was a cool feeling and it felt special and the ovation there at the start and then you kind of feel funny out there standing by yourself. Thinking back, I was saying just a bit ago, you think back just trying to make the NHL and then you kind of reflect on all the years being able to play for a great organization here in Calgary and all the fun I've had so far in my career. I feel very fortunate and blessed.
— Boston forward Jarome Iginla on his return to Calgary, where he played for 16 seasons