RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the team has agreed to terms with forward Erik Cole on a two-year contract. The deal will pay Cole $2.8 million in 2009-10 and $3 million in 2010-11.
“Erik clearly had an instant impact on our team when he returned to Carolina in March,” said Rutherford. “He has been an important piece for our franchise for a long time and we are pleased that he has decided to remain at home in Raleigh.”
Cole, 30, netted 18 goals and earned 24 assists (42 points) in 80 games with Edmonton and Carolina in 2008-09. Re-acquired by the Hurricanes on March 4 as part of a three-team trade with Los Angeles and Edmonton, the Oswego, NY, native ranked second among Hurricanes skaters in hits (180) and fourth on the team in takeaways (49). In 17 games with Carolina after the trade, he notched 15 points (2g, 13a), helping the Hurricanes to a 12-3-2 record in that span. In 498 career NHL games with Carolina and Edmonton, Cole has notched 322 points (147g, 175a) and 479 penalty minutes.
Originally drafted by Carolina in the third round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Cole has totaled 131 goals and 164 assists (295 points) and 416 penalty minutes in 435 games with the Hurricanes. He has earned 14 points (6g, 8a) and 52 penalty minutes in 43 Stanley Cup playoff games for the Hurricanes, helping Carolina reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002, win the Stanley Cup in 2006 and reach the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009. Cole is fourth in goals scored by Hurricanes players since the team relocated to North Carolina with 131, and ranks seventh in games played (435), sixth in points (295), seventh in assists (164), fourth in penalty minutes (416), sixth in power-play goals (33), third in shorthanded