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- With a $5 M cap hit, Sergei Gonchar is one of the most expensive d-men in franchise history. The only ones higher are P.K. Subban ($9 M), Andrei Markov ($5.75 M), Mathieu Schneider ($5.75 M), and Roman Hamrlik ($5.5 M).
The Habs biggest 2011 free agent signing, Erik Cole, will likely fit in on the top two lines, and gives the team a true power forward up front, something they've been lacking for a long time. Will Cole, a known Habs killer, excel in Montreal or will he struggle like he did the last time he left Carolina?
Cole bounced back from a sub-par, injury filled 2009-10 season, with a matching pair of goals & assists . He played in all 82 games last season, playing his usual gritty style with great skating to boot.
Season Stats: 82 GP, 26 Goals, 26 Assists, 52 Points, -1, 3 PPG, 1 SHG, 9 GWG, 201 Shots, 18:27 TOI, 225 Hits, 34 Blocked Shots, 65 Takeaways
5 Year Averages
Cole will likely start the season a top line winger with Tomas Plekanec at centre and Mike Cammalleri on the other flank. The position might be juggled if the chemistry is not there, since the Scott Gomez & Brian Gionta line may be a better fit. In either line, his size, skating and energy will be an asset for his linemates. His veteran presence should provide a mentorship for young forwards Max Pacorietty & Andrei Kostitsyn.
Cole's injury history is well known, and obviously a concern since he plays a high energy style. After signing with the Habs, the Oswego, New York native admitted to the media, that as a kid he was a Habs fan, which helps explain his higher performance while playing against the Canadiens. I hope that effort carries forward for the next 4 seasons. Cole is capable of scoring 25 goals and 25 assists in the Habs system.
Have Your Say
- Fantasy Focus: Brian Gionta posted by Michael R.