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by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
Forward was the MVP of the German League playoffs in 2004-05

RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the Hurricanes have agreed to terms with left wing Erik Cole on a one-year contract worth $1.14 million.

“Erik has performed well for the Hurricanes and we are happy to have him signed,” said Rutherford. “He led his team in Germany to the league championship last season and also performed well for Coach Laviolette at the World Championships.”

Cole, 26, tallied six goals and 21 assists (27 points) and 76 penalty minutes in 39 games for Eisbaren Berlin of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) in 2004-05. He scored five goals and added one assist (6 points) in eight playoff games, capturing the league’s Playoff Most Valuable Player award as Berlin won the league title. Cole played for Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette with the United States at the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships in Austria, totaling six points (1g, 5a) in seven games. He has been invited to the 2005 U.S. Olympic Orientation Camp to take place Sept. 5-8 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Cole (6’2’’, 200 lbs.) completed his third NHL season with Carolina in 2003-04, posting career highs in goals (18), points (42) and penalty minutes (93). He was second on the team in goals (18), penalty minutes (93) and shooting percentage (10.5%). He was third in points (42) and fifth in assists (24). A native of Oswego, N.Y., Cole has totaled 48 goals and 61 assists (109 points) in 214 career games with the Hurricanes.

Drafted out of Clarkson University of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) in the third round, 71st overall, of the 1998 Entry Draft, Cole played an integral role in Carolina’s run to the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals, leading all NHL rookies in goals (6) and points (9) in the postseason. He led all rookies and ranked fifth in the NHL in hits during the regular season in 2001-02, and was fourth among rookies in points (40), fifth in goals (16), and tied for second in assists (24). Cole was selected to represent the Eastern Conference in the 2003 NHL YoungStars Game at All-Star Weekend, but he was unable to participate due to a broken fibula.
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