Jan 27, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars right wing Erik Cole (72) in warm-ups prior to the game against the Colorado Avalanche at the American Airlines Center. The Avalanche defeated the Stars 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Is Erik Cole The Key To The Dallas Stars?

Good morning, Stars fans! Do not fear, the weekend is on its way!

Over the last month, many people have talked about the new and improved Dallas Stars squad and how the team might fare next season. Names like Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky, along with the regular mentions of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, have all surfaced when the Stars are brought up. But the biggest name that keeps coming back to mind is Erik Cole.

So, the overall question lies at this: is Erik Cole the key to the Dallas Stars’ success?

Is Erik Cole the key to the Stars’ success?:

Erik Cole has been with the Dallas Stars for the past season-and-a-half after he was traded from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Michael Ryder. He pulled off a slow but effective start in his first year and this past year, contrary to popular belief, Cole had a good year, scoring 16 goals and 29 points through 75 games. Cole is 35 years old and is still proving to be a valuable veteran. He knows how to be the physical presence the Stars need in front of the net and cash in the juicy rebounds when they appear. Cole also knows how to move the puck into the zone, though he can give the puck away every once in a while.

Cole is a hot-and-cold player to say the least. When he is hot, you better get out of his way because one way or another he will score. But when he is cold, it seems as though the puck is covered in butter whenever he comes near. But Cole will end up making or breaking the Stars in the upcoming season.

Erik Cole is going to be the third oldest player on the Stars next year, and the two older players, Sergei Gonchar and Shawn Horcoff, had off years and will be playing minor roles next season. Cole will be stacked on the second line, most likely, and will be looking to play a major leadership role to the core group of younger talent. His skills are still very useful for the Stars offensive scheme and he will be able to contribute to the new Spezza-Hemsky or Spezza-Nichushkin line.

Cole will fly under the radar and no teams will have his name on their whiteboards pre-game, so it’s up to him to take advantage of that. While the defenses will focus their attention on the rest of the second line, Cole will be given the opportunity to ambush, and he will be able to work with that.

If Cole can prove to be the Stars key to success, the postseason qualifying should be a breeze. But it is all going to be up to him.

Do you think Cole will be able to take advantage of his situation?

Comments and questions below and thanks for reading! Go Stars.

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