The Erik Cole era in Detroit will be short lived.
Cole, who arrived from Dallas at the deadline but played just 11 games before suffering a season-ending spinal cord injury, won’t be brought back next season, GM Ken Holland announced on Tuesday.
Cole, 36, had a pretty nice campaign prior to suffering his injury. The veteran scored six points in 11 games with the Wings, averaging 14:39 TOI per night. Overall, Cole averaged an impressive 0.57 points per game this year between Detroit and Dallas, his highest rate since scoring a career-best 35 goals with Montreal in 2011-12.
As such, it’ll be interesting to see where he lands in free agency. Clubs looking for a veteran presence on the wing could do worse and Cole does have plenty of playoff experience, having appeared in 46 career contests while playing in a pair of Stanley Cup Finals (winning it all with Carolina in 2006).
As for Detroit, this marks the second straight year a veteran deadline pickup failed to net significant returns — last year, the club acquired David Legwand from Nashville and, after a quick start, he struggled to make an impact in an opening-round playoff loss to Boston.
Those deals could end up hurting the Red Wings down the road. For Cole, they gave up prospects Mattias Backman, center Mattias Janmark and a second-round pick in this year’s draft; for Legwand, they gave up Calle Jarnkrok and a second-rounder in last year’s draft.
The Carolina Hurricanes made a fairly significant organizational shakeup on Thursday, dismissing AHL Charlotte head coach Jeff Daniels after seven seasons on the job.
“We appreciate the years of service and hard work that Jeff provided for our organization,” GM Ron Francis said in a statement. “His contract expires at the end of June, and we will now begin the process of finding a new head coach for the Checkers.”
Daniels, 46, has been with the Carolina organization for 15 years. He spent his final four playing seasons with the ‘Canes — helping them advance to the Stanley Cup Final in 2002 — then quickly transitioned into coaching, and was Peter Laviolette’s assistant on the Cup-winning team of ’06.
Daniels sort of embodied the “keep it in the family” approach favored by former GM Jim Rutherford during his time in charge. Rutherford was known for bringing ex-players back for repeat tours of duty (think Cory Stillman, Joe Corvo, Tim Gleason, Erik Cole) and transitioning former ‘Canes into coaching and front office roles (think Francis, Rod Brind’Amour and Glen Wesley.)
The Dallas Stars have locked in one of the assets acquired from the Erik Cole deadline deal, signing forward Mattias Janmark to a two-year deal.
The contract, announced via Twitter by agency Uptown Sports, is worth $1.46M and of the two-way variety, according to TVA Sports. That puts the Swede — taken 79th overall by Detroit at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft — on a $734,000 average annual cap hit though, per reports from SHL club Frolunda, he is expected to play in Europe next season.
That said, the Stars are getting a look at Janmark now, as he’s been brought over to participate in the Calder Cup playoffs with AHL Texas. It’ll be interesting to see how he fares; he, along with Mattias Backman, were the two pieces Dallas acquired for Cole and Janmark has proven to be a good scorer in Sweden, racking up 36 points in 55 games this season.
The Erik Cole era in Detroit lasted all of 11 games.
Cole, one of Detroit’s key pickups at the trade deadline, has been ruled out for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs with a spinal cord contusion, per the Macomb Daily.
This will undoubtedly be a blow to the Red Wings moving forward. Though he’d only appeared in a handful of games, Cole looked to be a nice fit, scoring six points in 11 contests while averaging 14:39 TOI per night. What’s more, the 36-year-old has plenty of postseason experience, having appeared in 46 career contests while playing in a pair of Stanley Cup Finals (winning it all with Carolina in 2006).
Cole was also averaging 0.57 points per game this year, his highest rate since scoring a career-high 35 goals with Montreal in 2011-12.
This isn’t the only injury Detroit’s dealing with at the moment, either. Justin Abdelkader, Tomas Jurco and Johan Franzen are all currently shelved as well, and it’s unlikely Franzen will return this season. With these four forwards out of the lineup, Detroit will be forced to further lean on the likes of Landon Ferraro (who made his regular-season debut on Tuesday versus Carolina) and Teemu Pulkkinen, both of whom are relatively inexperienced.
Another day, another potential injury blow for the Red Wings.
After Justin Abdelkader suffered a hand injury over the weekend, Detroit — already without the services of fellow forwards Erik Cole, Tomas Jurco and Johan Franzen — was forced to recall Landon Ferraro from AHL Grand Rapids.
Ferraro, 23, is enjoying arguably the best AHL campaign of his career, with a personal high of 27 goals in 70 games. The son of former NHLer Ray Ferraro made his big-league debut last season, appearing in four games, but has played exclusively with the Griffins this season due in large part to Detroit’s depth of forwards at the NHL level.
As for Abdelkader, he’s likely to miss Tuesday’s tilt against Carolina after hurting himself while blocking a shot in Sunday’s loss to Washington. It could be a potentially big blow for Detroit — Abdelkader is having a great year for the Wings, having scored a career-high 23 goals, and has filled the role of net-front presence/power forward quite effectively.