Cole carries a $2.9 million cap hit, and can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 when his contract with the Hurricanes expires.
The Flyers can afford to add a player with a yearly cap hit around $3 million after placing defenseman Matt Walker ($1.7 million) on waivers Thursday.
At the NHL All-Star break, the Canes are only one point out of a playoff spot. General manager Jim Rutherford will not trade Cole if he feels his team has a chance at the playoffs.
If the Hurricanes fall out of contention between now and the trade deadline, which is one month from tomorrow, the Flyers could make a run at Cole.
How would Cole fit in with the orange and black?
Cole played four seasons under Flyers’ coach Peter Laviolette when he was the Hurricanes’ head coach from 2003-08, including when the Canes won the 2006 Stanley Cup.
In 50 games this season, Cole has 13 goals and 15 assists.
Flyers assistant GM John Paddock hinted that Philly will be looking to add forward depth at this year’s deadline during an interview on NHL Live.
“I think we’ll look around at trying to get a little better. But I don’t know if better is the word, but deeper,” said Paddock. “We’re looking to get a little bit deeper. … [But] we don’t feel like we have to pay a big price to do that.”
Cole would not only bring depth up front, but a playoff tested warrior. The 32-year-old has played in 43 postseason games with 14 points. When the Canes won the Cup in 06, Cole had six goals and nine points in 23 games.
At 6’2″, 205-pounds, Cole is a big bodied right winger who can help the Flyers power play. He has five power play points, including three of his 13 goals on the man advantage.
Whether Carolina is willing to trade him is still in question, but we do know that the Flyers are looking to add a playoff battled forward who ideally plays right wing.
Erik Cole fits that description.