It's believed the Hurricanes would like Ottawa D Joe Corvo or W Antoine Vermette, but Rutherford hasn't been willing to move W Erik Cole. The Hurricanes want Vermette to help improve their penalty-killing unit. Giving up Cole would be a tough sell, but talk won't go away that Rutherford could also move him to Columbus for W David Vyborny.
Cole is on a $4 mil per contract thru next season. I love Erik Cole when he's at 100%, but his style of play puts him in harm's way, and then on the IR for extended periods. Erik Cole doesn't just tweak a groin, he breaks a leg...or his neck. From everything I've heard, Erik is a great teammate and a solid citizen. That being said, his trade value will probably never be higher than it is right now.
If Erik is the silver bullet JR needs to use to remake this club, I'd hate to see him go for a PK specialist (Vermette) or a puck-moving blueliner with a propensity to to turn the puck over (Corvo). Vyborny affordable ($2.2 mil) and a free agent after this season, so JR would have to bid for the guy in the off season if he wants to keep him. Would JR want to spend Cole money for a winger who's not the same caliber of player? Not straight up, but maybe as part of a package.
Now I'm just a simple cave man lawyer, but I think the Cole card should only be played to bring in a physical defenseman who just happens to also have solid offensive instincts-not the other way around. If JR is talking deal with Ottawa, I think Chris Phillips name needs to be part of the discussion. If he's talking to Columbus, Rusty Klesla should be on the table. I still hold out hope that Francios Beauchemin could be had, but I think the Ducks are back and that d-corps is pretty set. The re--appearance of Teemu Selanne is the only thing that might turn that roster over at this point in the season.
I'm about done with the Andrew Ladd experience. If he does retain some draft pedigree panache, I wouldn't mind seeing him moved at the deadline. Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore would probably command decent value right at the deadline. JR will probably lose both in the off season if he doesn't make a deal in the coming weeks. I'd be OK with moving any of the aforementioned. Whatever unfolds in the coming weeks, there is little doubt the October, 2008 Carolina Hurricanes will look very different.