When the news came out that Erik Cole signed a 4 year, $18 million contract, many were caught between two feelings: happy that Pierre Gauthier addressed the need for a Top 6 physical forward and worried with the thought that he had paid a lot of money for him.
At $4.5 million on the Cap Hit, is Cole really overpaid? The names of a couple of players making the same money immediately came to mind: Mike Komisarek and Ryan Malone. But I didn’t want to rely solely on gut feeling here, and I certainly didn’t want to be biased in my opinion so I chose to do a bit of research, which I’d like to share with you all. While not the perfect way to demonstrate toughness, I’ve added the Hits column to show that he’s not afraid of hitting someone, something needed in my opinion on the team.
I purposely put a few defensemen in there just to show value for the buck, not to compare stats. Also, in order to be fair to Daymond Langkow, I used his 2009-10 stats as he only played 4 games last year.
As you can see, Cole compares favourably to all those players and is pretty much on par with the likes of Shane Doan and David Backes, when it comes to last season. Yes, there is a risk for injuries and that’s the case every time you have physical players. But that’s the price to pay. Is the term of the deal too long? Possibly, time will tell. Cole is 32 years old and will be 36 when starting his final year.
En Français: La valeur d’Erik Cole