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Former Olympian and former Carolina Hurricane

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
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February 5, 2024 3:53 pm

Former Olympian and former Carolina Hurricane

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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February 5, 2024 3:53 pm

Erik Cole, former Carolina Hurricane, discusses what it was like to play for the Olympics and whether that impacted the regular season.

What was it like to put on a USA sweater for the Olympics? Why do the NHL guys love it and want to do it so badly? What does Erik think it matters so much to guys from HERE? Would it be feasible for the hockey game to be played when Rod Brind’Amour prefers it being played? Where is the biggest need for the Carolina Hurricanes this season? What has Erik seen from Jack Drury recently?

Zach Gelb Show
Zach Gelb

Friday, the National Hockey League's Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that NHL players would be returning to the Olympics. As the Hurricanes are returning to play Vancouver tomorrow at PNC Arena, Elias Lindholm will be back in the building in yet another different sweater than a Hurricanes one. We bring in a former Olympian and we expect Elias Lindholm will probably play in the Olympics, as will several Hurricanes players.

Eric Cole wore USA back in 2006 in Torino and he joins us to talk about this and the Canes. First of all, thank you very much, sir. Happy New Year. I don't believe we've spoken at all in the New Year.

That's that's an error on my part. What was what was it like to put on pull on a USA sweater for the Olympics in 2006? Um, yeah, obviously it's a huge honor.

And, you know, you're you're so excited. Um, you know, just just to be a part of of all that, you know, I got a little bit of it the season before when the NHL had locked us out and I went to Germany and played I played in the World Championship in 2005 in Austria. And just that was that was kind of really my first time.

I had never been on like the world junior team or anything like that, or any other like World Championship team. So, yeah, it was it was a big honor. And then to come back, you know that 2005 season up with the you know the 0506 NHL season that we were having here in Carolina and to go in there with, you know, such high expectations and you know, it was the last kind of hurrah for that really big core group that we had with the Team USA. You know, with guys like Doug Waite, Madon Oka, Chuck Chelios, Hatcher, you know, it was it was a lot of fun to just be around those guys and be able to experience, you know that, you know, that environment with them with guys that had been there and done it before.

Eric Cole is joining us here on the Adam Gold. So regardless of you know, it didn't go well. I don't think it went went well for Canada either in 2006. The experienced I guess what I'm trying to get at is why do the NHL guys because there was a time where it wasn't even a thought. Why do the NHL guys love it and want to do it so badly?

Well, I mean, for me personally, you know, it was a dream of mine. You know, as a kid growing up, I, you know, obviously always paid attention to the Winter Olympics and particularly the hockey program. And when it shifted from, you know, the amateurs going right to professional athletes going, I thought, well, shoot. Well, there there goes that night at the time that I mean, the first time was what Nagano 98.

Yes, I was a freshman in college. So I think that that was, you know, I created a level of disappointment that it was like, OK, well, you know, if you want to play in the Olympics, then, you know, it kind of goes hand in hand with you've got to get to the NHL. So I think that that's obviously, you know, one of the big reasons that guys love it because, you know, somewhere through there, well, a couple years ago, you know, the NHL didn't attend. And that had a lot to do with, you know, everything that's what, you know, the league and been dealing with.

I mean, what everyone had been dealing with on the side. But I think, you know, it's just any time you get the opportunity to to wear the sweater, you know, of your of your home nation, it's a great experience. And you know, it's an honor. And you get to play with, you know, a lot of different kind of, you know, like age groups in terms of, you know, you play with a few of the guys that you, you know, grew up competing against. And then it's, you know, all the way to guys that you grew up watching, right.

And like wanting to emulate and be like that, that player. So it makes for a really cool experience of bringing in, you know, different generations of players. Eric Cole joining us here on the Adam Gold Show, the National Hockey League announced that the pros would be returning to the Olympics for 2026.

So we're still what two full summers away, actually, to about two years from right now, from players rejoining this whole thing. Just one more thing about this. And I don't know that this is true or not. Because I think USA guys and Canadian guys desperately want to play for their Olympic teams. But what do you think it means? Because you played with a lot of guys who were from whether it was Finland, Sweden, Russia. Why do you think it matters so much to them? I think it's, you know, every country, every, you know, player, you know, you're trying to go out and prove that you have, you know, the best players, or, you know, that you can, you have the groups that can come together in a short amount of time and, you know, beat the other world's best. It's a I mean, it's, it's really just a, I mean, it's such a unique, you know, atmosphere and in the sense that it's everyone from their home country, whereas, you know, we're playing in the NHL, you obviously have a mix, right guys from all different countries on every roster. So it's just that sense of pride. And, you know, being able to wear your, you know, your, your country's colors on the ice. It's just, it's a great experience.

All right, now, let me just ask you this. Would it be feasible because rod, rod Brenda Moore, Carla, hurricanes head coach, not sure you know that rod suggested that maybe there's a way to do what the NBA does and take it out of the season, which would put it in the Summer Olympics, regardless of whether or not the IOC would ever consider that as a player, would it be more feasible or less feasible to play Olympic hockey in July, August? You see, I, and I think that, you know, where, where rod's coming from there is, you know, originally they used to do what was basically like the Canada cup and it turned into the world cup.

Um, and it was, it was a joint effort and it was, I think they did what one or two seasons of it. Um, after the fact that, you know, the, the NHL are started going to the Olympics. Um, it, it is, it is a difficult, you know, scenario to put in to the middle of an NHL season, just because, uh, the schedule gets a lot, you know, tougher and it's, I mean, you've got a bunch, a lot more games together. It maybe, you know, makes for a longer season. Um, and as NHLers attending the Olympics, you miss a lot of it.

You're literally there to play games and you just are there to play until until you're ousted and then you turn it back around and head back home. Um, you know, you don't get to, uh, be a part of opening ceremonies and things like that. And there's kind of, you know, very little time, I guess, to do a lot of other things. Um, and maybe, you know, that was just kind of the venue issue that we had in Torino, where, you know, I was able to attend a couple things, but not a, not a lot. Um, uh, so I can see where, you know, just because of the demands it puts on the NHL season, where some people would be wanting to, you know, move it to, you know, be played in the summer. But I just can't see, you know, ice hockey being played in the summer Olympics, but I don't see, I don't see the ice hockey federation going. It's weird.

It's weird. I get it. The NBA is being played in the winter, so they don't have to shut their season down. The NHL has to shut it down for basically three weeks so we could have an Olympic hockey tournament. Eric Cole, before I let you go, um, the hurricanes will start up again tomorrow night against Vancouver. Uh, what do you see when, when you watch him, um, what do you see as an area of need that maybe they have? Well, I mean, I think the most glaring this season and it's been beat to death really, um, is, is goaltending. Um, but for me, like, you know, there, there has been instances where we've gotten good goaltending and still lost games. Um, like I, I just, I sometimes watch the team and I, you know, I wish that the forwards were, you know, playing a little bit harder on the defensive side of the park for the defenseman, because you'll make the game a lot easier on, on the defenseman with that, you know, inside the dots, you know, back pressure. And, um, and I think that, you know, the harder that the forwards come back and make it tough pushing other teams from behind, um, you know, that's going to create more, more turnovers. And we all know that Carolina is a really good team in transition.

And so I, for me, lots of times I, I find myself, you know, watching a guy kind of let off on a back check and I, you know, I wish he would pursue, you know, a little bit more, but you know, maybe that's not how, you know, Roddy's got him set up to, to defend. Um, but with the way that they've been, you know, playing, you know, through this, you know, second half of the, you know, the, the, the first half of the season, you know, toward the end of, uh, that little stretch before the all star break and everything, you know, I think that they've, you know, they've, they've been through their, their real, you know, hopefully tough part of their season where they had adversity and they've had to overcome, you know, injuries and tough stretches and things like that. I think that when you have those throughout the course of your season, it makes you a little bit, you know, tougher mentally and, uh, you know, it makes the guys tougher as a group, as you continue to move forward throughout the season and, and into the playoffs.

All right. Final thing. Um, development of a player like Jack Drury, uh, who was drafted is second round behind Andre Spetsnakoff. Uh, what, what have you seen from him, especially in maybe the last 30 or so games? Opportunity. It's opportunity and confidence. I say it a lot when talking about, you know, guys that play in this league and guys that don't necessarily, you know, ever find their footing. Um, I think with the jury, he, you know, he, he was given the opportunity to, to show some glimpses here and there early in his career.

But, um, you know, just the numbers weren't really working in his favor. And, you know, to that point, it also wasn't the worst thing for him to be, you know, playing good minutes in the minors and gaining. You know, confidence in what he's capable of doing and just, you know, continuing to mature and progress. Um, just, you know, at a different pace than maybe some other guys do so. I think what you see is just the, you know, maturation of a younger player that had to spend some time in the minors. Whether. It was, you know, necessary for him or it was necessary just in terms of where the numbers were and where the contracts were. But now you see where he's, you know, been able to get his foot in the door.

He's playing with confidence and, you know, the coach is showing confidence in him and giving him an opportunity to go out and perform. Eric Cole, you are a gentleman, my friend. I appreciate your time. I'll talk to you soon. Uh, see you at the rink at, uh, at some point. I'm sure. Definitely.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-08 09:36:24 / 2024-02-08 09:41:39 / 5

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