The Carolina Hurricanes made two crucial offseason moves in two days. On July 2, they re-signed forward Erik Cole to a two-year deal worth $5.8 million. On July 3, Carolina agreed to a two-year, $3.4 million contract with forward Chad LaRose (top left in the article photo).
After coming to the Hurricanes via trade in March, Cole scored 15 points in 17 games as the Canes' offense fired on all cylinders. But in the playoffs Cole did not score a goal and managed only five assists. Still, the 30 year-old Oswego, N.Y. native has a wealth of experience, and he is familiar with the Hurricanes' system.
LaRose scored 19 goals and 12 assists in 81 regular season games in 2008-09. In addition, the 5'10", 181-lb center was the team's fourth-most prolific scorer in the playoffs, as he tallied four goals and seven assists in 18 postseason games.
He's developing into a nice scorer, but LaRose's greatest attribute may be his work ethic. He gives 100 percent every night, playing as though that night's game could be his last. And he's gritty.
LaRose totaled 16 penalty minutes in 18 games in last year's playoffs, and he's not afraid to fight a bigger player.