DETROIT >> Wings general manager Ken Holland said if they were going to add a player at the trade deadline he would have to provide an important element and dimension to the roster.
They feel Erik Cole can do both.
Detroit obtained Cole from the Dallas Stars for a pair of prospects – Mattias Janmark (center) and Mattias Backman (defenseman), who are both playing in Sweden – and a second-round pick.
Cole told a Toronto radio station he found out about the deal prior to the Stars’ game against the Anaheim Ducks and was scratched from the lineup.
“It’s a chance to go to a team that’s in the playoffs and has a chance to go on a good run here in the spring and hopefully win a Cup,” he told TSN 1050. “It gets easier the more you go through it. Early on in my career it kind of bothered me a bit more. This year it’s been pretty easy to continue to go about my business. We’ve been in such a dogfight here in Dallas it’s been tough to focus on anything else other than what we’ve had right in front of us.
“It’s the nature of the business and the sport, all sports,” Cole added. “I’ll spend the next couple of days here turning the page and focus on what my role is going to be in Detroit.”
The Wings also got a third round pick back.
“It’s definitely one of those teams that has the aura about it,” said Cole, who was a member of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2002 when they lost to the Wings in the Stanley Cup final. “It’s such a great history and so many great players have played there obviously.”
Cole, 36, has a decent amount of playoff experience, scoring six goals and collecting eight assists in 46 games.
“You hear so many great things about how the organization and the coaching staff handle their players and all the accolades,” Cole said. “They’ve had so much success and they have a great playing staff. It should be a great experience.”
Cole, who’s 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, is a physical offensive forward and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He has a $4.5 million salary cap-hit.
He has 18 goals and 15 assists in 57 games for Dallas this season. For his career he has 262 goals and 264 assists in 881 games.
“I would love to make a deal to make us a little bit better, to upgrade us a little bit, but I also feel with the way, not only with the way our players are playing here in Detroit, but the development of our young players in Grand Rapids I feel good about the depth,” Holland said in a phone interview earlier Sunday. “I understand they’re young players and when we get into the Stanley Cup playoffs that you’re not sure how they’re going to react, but as you look at other teams out there, the league is younger. Because of the cap there are lots of good young players. We might have a lot of young players on our team, but do the other teams.”
Besieged by injuries, mainly at center, last season, the Wings made a last minute deal for David Legwand. They gave up Patrick Eaves, Calle Jarnkrok and what turned into a second-round draft pick after they reached the playoffs for a 23rd straight season.