Monday, September 08, 2008
"Bank Shot" did some research, and raised a good point over at Lowetide's (link to the right). How much was the "Southeast" division a factor in Erik Cole's overall performance?
A LOT APPARENTLY
Erik Cole posted 24 points in 28 games against Southeast division foes; 27 point in 45 games against all other NHL teams.
It's been well documented goaltending and defense was a considerable issue in the SE division last season.
Erik Cole did some other things quite well; he was physical, drew penalties (tied for 2nd most in the league), and shot the puck 216 times, which would have lead the Oilers last season (Leader: Dustin Penner, 201 SOG).
On the contrary, Cole’s numbers have fallen since 2005-2006 season; since the lockout, he has missed 20, 11, and 9 games respectively since the lockout. He turns 30 in November.
I don't think there is doubt that Erik Cole will help this team win hockey games. At the same time, Erik Cole may not provide full value in his next contract. I acknowledge it's prudent for General Manager, sorry, President of Hockey Operations, Kevin Lowe, to play out the season before deciding whether or not to bring Katz suitcases to the negotiation table.
However, this begs answers to the following questions: Why did Kevin Lowe pursue a player who he has doubts about, and is one year away from unrestricted free agency? Especially given the fact Joni Pitkanen kept his head above water with a EV +/- rating of zero playing difficult opposition. Was Erik Cole the best value in the trade market? Was it the good trade?
David Caruso is investigating.
Posted by PunjabiOil at 9:03 PM