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by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Second-Year Left Wing Injured Thursday at Tampa Bay; Will Miss YoungStars Game

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes today announced that left wing Erik Cole suffered a broken left fibula (lower leg) in Thursday’s game at Tampa Bay. Cole’s injury will not require surgery but the second-year left winger’s recovery will take at least two months.

Cole (6’ 2”, 200 lbs.) ranks fourth among Hurricanes skaters with 27 points (14g, 13a) in 53 games this season. He was selected to play in the Topps/NHL YoungStars game on Feb. 1 in Sunrise, Fla., but will miss the exhibition game due to his injury.

The Hurricanes selected the 24-year-old, Oswego, N.Y., native in the third round, 71st overall, in the 1998 Entry Draft. Cole made his NHL debut in 2001-02 and played in 81 of 82 regular-season games last season totaling 16 goals, 24 assists (40 points) and 35 penalty minutes. He scored six goals and added three assists in Carolina’s 23-game 2002 Stanley Cup Finals run.

Following this weekend’s All-Star break, the Hurricanes will embark on a four-game road swing that will take them to San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Dallas. Carolina right wing Jeff O’Neill will play for the Eastern Conference squad in his first NHL All-Star game on Sunday in Sunrise, Fla. (2:30 p.m. ET, ABC). The Hurricanes return to RBC Center on Feb. 14 to face the Washington Capitals at 7 p.m. Tickets for that game and all Hurricanes home games are available via the team’s official website, the Dodge Box Office at RBC Center or by calling 919.834.4000.

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