RALEIGH, NC - Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed left wing Erik Cole to a ceremonial contract. Cole subsequently announced his retirement from his playing career in hockey.
Following Cole's announcement, Hurricanes President Don Waddell named him as team ambassador.
Selected by the Hurricanes in the third round, 71st overall, of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Cole played 892 career regular-season NHL games with the Hurricanes, Oilers, Canadiens, Stars and Red Wings, totaling 265 goals and 267 assists (532 points). The Oswego, NY, native appeared in 46 career Stanley Cup playoff games, totaling 14 points (6g, 8a), reaching the Stanley Cup Final twice and capturing a Stanley Cup championship with the Hurricanes in 2006. He represented the United States in international tournaments including the 2005 and 2007 IIHF World Championships and the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
Cole appeared in 557 career games with Carolina, and ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in games played, points (363), hat tricks (5) and shorthanded goals (8). He was one of four rookies in franchise history to record a hat trick in his rookie season, notching three goals against Atlanta on Dec. 21, 2001, and he matched a franchise record with nine game-winning goals during the 2010-11 season. Cole netted 30 goals during the 2005-06 season before suffering a neck injury against the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 4, 2006. He returned to action just over three months later, skating in the final two games of the Stanley Cup Final for Carolina.