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Rutherford "Not Optimistic" on Cole, LaRose

by Paul Branecky
On the eve of the official start of unrestricted free agency, Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford said that no progress has been made in negotiations with Erik Cole and Chad LaRose.

"Not optimistic," said Rutherford, adding that he did not have meetings scheduled with the agent for either player before the end of the day.

Rutherford also reiterated his stance that today would be the final day to come to an agreement, and that he would expect both players to move on to other organizations if a deal with Carolina can't be reached.

"If they go into tomorrow then they're obviously making the choice to go somewhere else," he said. "We've given our best offer within our budget to try to keep them, and at this point it doesn't look like it's going to happen."

The same goes for depth forward Ryan Bayda, who was offered a two-way contract by the Hurricanes but will attempt to see if he can earn a one-way deal with another team starting tomorrow. If he is unable to do so, Rutherford said that the team's initial offer will remain on the table after July 1.

"Ryan was a good player for us, and whether he's on a one-way or a two-way if he's with us will play a lot of games," said Rutherford. "But I can understand his position."

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