Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Erik Cole
Erik Cole was born November 6, 1978 in Oswego, New York. While playing high school hockey in his hometown, Cole collected 49 goals and 41 assists in 40 games. After a year with Des Moines in the USHL where Cole confirmed his scoring prowess, he chose to play collegiate hockey, attending Clarkson University.

Following his first season with the Knights in 1997-98, Cole was named ECAC Rookie of the Year. That summer, the Carolina Hurricanes used their third selection to take Erik. In 1998-1999, Cole tied for the goal scoring championship with 22 and was named to the ECAC First All-Star Team and the NCAA East Second Team. In his third season at Clarkson, Erik was named to the ECAC's Second All-Star Team, and at the season's conclusion, was immediately dispatched to Carolina's IHL affiliate in Cincinnati.

Always a strong scorer, Erik spent 2000-01 with the Cincinnati Cyclones and fired 23 goals as a rookie, earning himself a spot on the NHL roster for 2001-02. Erik led all NHL rookies in hits, was second in assists (24), fourth in points (40) and fifth in goals (16). That spring, as the Hurricanes made their surprise run to the Stanley Cup final, only to come up short against the Detroit Red Wings.

Injuries plagued the former Clarkson star in 2002-03, yet he rebounded in 2003-04 with a 42 point season (18-24-42) despite playing on a team that missed out on the playoffs. During the lockout Cole competed in 39 regular season games with Eisban Berlin of the German League notching 27 points. The German League playoffs saw Cole tally 5 goals leading his team to the championship and being named Most Valuable Player.

The following year Cole and the NHL returned to action. Cole entered into his fourth NHL season with the Hurricanes primed for one of his best offensive years of his young career. Cole over-delivered on what was expected of him offensively, totaling 30 goals in 60 games played. Cole's season however would be cut short as he was unexpectedly slammed into the boards awkwardly by Brooks Orpik of the Pittsburgh Penguins. After a careful examination, Cole was told he had sustained a compression fracture in a vertebra in his neck. While injured Erik could only watch as his team mates rolled through the first three rounds of the NHL playoffs. However, Cole returned in game six of the Stanley Cup Final, just one game prior to hoisting the Stanley Cup on home ice.

Cole recorded 29 goals and 32 assists in 71 games during the 2006-07 season before his offensive output decreased to 22 goals and 29 assists in 73 games the following season. The power forward's stint with the 2006 Cup Champions came to an end in the summer of 2008 when the 'Canes sent Cole to the Edmonton Oilers, but after just 63 games in Edmonton he was traded back to Carolina at the NHL trade deadline as part of a three team deal that also included the Los Angeles Kings.

Injuries limited Cole to just 40 games in 2009-10, but the following season he rediscovered his scoring touch, finding the net 26 times. His most productive output since the 2006-07 season.

In the summer of 2011, as an unrestricted free agent, Cole signed a four-year contract worth $18 million with the Montreal Canadiens.

In his first year with Montreal, Cole proved to be a perfect fit. Appearing in all 82 games, he led the Canadiens in goals with a career-best 35. The 2012-13 season was shortened due to the lockout and Cole would suit up for just 19 games for Montreal before being traded to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Michael Ryder.

Cole would appear in 57 games for the Stars during the 2014-15 season, scoring 18 goals, before being traded at the deadline to the Detroit Red Wings. He would complete the season with the club and on September 20, 2017, Cole signed a one-day contract with the Carolina Hurricanes and officially announced his retirement.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1995-96 Oswego Buccaneers High-NY 40 49 41 90
1996-97 Des Moines Buccaneers USHL 48 30 34 64 140 5 2 0 2 6
1997-98 Clarkson Knights ECAC 34 11 20 31 55
1998-99 Clarkson Knights ECAC 36 22 20 42 50
1999-00 Clarkson Knights ECAC 33 19 11 30 46
1999-00 Cincinnati Cyclones IHL 9 4 3 7 2 -5 7 1 1 2 2
2000-01 Cincinnati Cyclones IHL 69 23 20 43 28 +9 5 1 0 1 2
2001-02 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 81 16 24 40 35 -10 23 6 3 9 30
2002-03 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 53 14 13 27 72 +1
2003-04 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 80 18 24 42 93 -4
2004-05 Eisbaren Berlin Germany 39 6 21 27 76 8 5 1 6 37
2004-05 United States WC-A 7 1 5 6 6 +7
2005-06 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 60 30 29 59 54 +19 2 0 0 0 0
2005-06 United States Olympics 6 1 2 3 0 0
2006-07 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 71 29 32 61 76 +2
2006-07 United States WC-A 7 1 4 5 2 -1
2007-08 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 73 22 29 51 76 +5
2008-09 Edmonton Oilers NHL 63 16 11 27 63 -3
2008-09 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 17 2 13 15 10 +3 18 0 5 5 22
2009-10 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 40 11 5 16 29 -9
2010-11 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 82 26 26 52 49 -1
2011-12 Montreal Canadiens NHL 82 35 26 61 48 +11
2012-13 Montreal Canadiens NHL 19 3 3 6 10 +1
2012-13 Dallas Stars NHL 28 6 1 7 10 -7
2013-14 Dallas Stars NHL 75 16 13 29 20 -17 3 0 0 0 2
2014-15 Dallas Stars NHL 57 18 15 33 14 +4
2014-15 Detroit Red Wings NHL 11 3 3 6 0 -2
NHL Totals 892 265 267 532 659 46 6 8 14 54


USHL Second All-Star Team (1997) ECAC Rookie of the Year (1998) (co-winner - Willie Mitchell)
ECAC First All-Star Team (1999)
NCAA East Second All-American Team (1999)
ECAC Second All-Star Team (2000)
Signed as a free agent by Berlin (Germany), October 24, 2004. Traded to Edmonton by Carolina for Joni Pitkanen, July 1, 2008. Traded to Carolina by Edmonton with Edmonton's 5th round pick (Matt Kennedy) in 2009 NHL Draft for Patrick O'Sullivan and Carolina's 2nd round pick (later traded to Buffalo, later traded to Toronto - Toronto selected Jesse Blacker) in 2009 NHL Draft, March 4, 2009. Missed majority of 2009-10 due to leg and upper-body injuries. Signed as a free agent by Montreal, July 1, 2011. Traded to Dallas by Montreal for Michael Ryder and Dallas' 3rd round pick (Connor Crisp) in 2013 NHL Draft, February 26, 2013. Traded to Detroit by Dallas with Dallas' 3rd round pick (Vili Saarijarvi) in 2015 NHL Draft for Mattias Backman, Mattias Janmark and Detroit's 2nd round pick (Roope Hintz) in 2015 NHL Draft, March 1, 2015. Missed remainder of 2014-15 due to upper-body injury vs. Arizona, March 24, 2015.
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