Erik Cole

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On the Offensive

Turning my attention to the offensive possibilities as they stand for the Montreal Canadiens for the 2011-2012 season, I am both hopeful and optimistic.

Looking over the forwards sign, sealed, and delivered for the upcoming season, I do not see many changes. The substitution of Benoit Pouliot for Habs-killer Erik Cole is a change I was looking for and definitely an upgrade. The Habs now have a proven power forward who is not afraid to go to the net and use his size to make room on the ice for his linemates. Critics have said he requires a great front line center in order to be effective, and cite the Habs lack of one as a reason it will not work. However, I believe either Scott Gome...

Dubi, Dubi, Done

The New York Rangers took care of what looked to be their most challenging item of business this summer; signing F Brandon Dubinsky to a long-term deal ahead of his arbitration hearing. Well, mission accomplished as the Blueshirts and Dubinsky agreed to a four-year deal worth a total of $16.8 million. In actuality, the arbitration hearing scheduled for 9:00 AM Thursday was postponed because both parties felt they were close to an agreement. It was imperative the deal get done without an arbitration hearing being held and that's exactly what happened.

Why is arbitration such a bad thing, anyway? In order to convince the arbitrator the player is only worth the salary figure the te...

Hurricanes Look to Gain Strength Over Off-season

It feels a bit odd that my first thoughts at The Checking Line are not about my beloved Penguins of Pittsburgh, but Chuck Gaston, Jr., did such a good job discussing their off-season to date that it’s best for me to look a little closer to my current home of Charlotte, NC, and the Carolina Hurricanes. For those relatively unfamiliar with the Canes, they landed in Raleigh, NC, in 1999 after moving from Hartford, CT, in 1997 and spending two seasons playing in Greensboro, NC.

They’re the only pro team from the four major North American sports in Raleigh, and they’ve cultivated a devoted following (Caniacs) and an in-house atmosphere at the RBC Center that’s ver...

Habs Welcome Cole, Budaj; What's Next?

When Pierre Gauthier signed Erik Cole to a four year, $18 million contract on last Friday's free agent frenzy, I'm sure that both parties knew they wouldn't be introducing a stranger to the Montreal crowd.

In his ten-year NHL career, Cole has been known as lots of things, but in Montreal, he is simply known as a "Habs-killer".

The Oswego, New York native has played nine seasons in the NHL, mostly in Carolina, with a brief stint in Edmonton in 2008-09. In all those years, he's totaled 620 career NHL games, with 184 goals and 206 assists for a total of 390 points, with a +3 rating and 557 penalty minutes. His playoff totals include 6 goals and 8 assists...