Hurricanes News: Updates on Erik Cole, John-Michael Liles, and Jim Rutherford

Robert McGeeSenior Writer IJanuary 25, 2008

It’s a beautiful, sunny day in Raleigh, NC, today and even though the NHL All-Star break is in full swing, there is still plenty of news to discuss regarding the Carolina Hurricanes.

Carolina General Manager Jim Rutherford has had two recent interviews with local sportstalk radio stations, where he basically repeated a previous interview from last week that he still believes this team and these players can win.

Apparently, many of you Canes Country Blog readers feel the same way, for the most part. In a recent poll from the blog, I asked what Rutherford’s primary objective should be regarding trade-deadline dealing?

At this point in the season, the overwhelming response was that the Hurricanes should be buyers, not sellers, and should concentrate on upgrading the defense. Only 10 percent thought that the Hurricanes should be sellers and start trading for the future. For those voters who wanted an addition on defense, perhaps help is on the way?

In today’s Denver Post, it’s been reported that the Hurricanes were officially scouting John-Michael Liles. There has been word about this off and on for weeks now, but this report definitely confirms previous suspicions.

A new addition to the mix was former University of Denver and Colorado Rockies coach Marshall Johnston, scouting for the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes continue to be looking over Avs defender John-Michael Liles, an unrestricted free agent after this season. Carolina has made no secret of its desire for a puck-carrying, offensive defenseman. Liles, however, is suffering through the worst season of his young career, with two goals and 18 points in 48 games coming in. Scouts from the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals also were in attendance

Liles only has 18 points, eh? Currently the leading defenseman on the Hurricanes, Dennis Seidenberg, has 12 points. More importantly, the Canes need someone who can get the puck out of their own end consistently. I think Liles would be a big help.

In some other news, the Erik Cole trade rumors won’t go away. The Toronto Sun has an article about Cole this morning. While I don’t necessarily like the suggested trade of Cole for Vermette and Corvo, I’m not against trading Erik if the return was good enough.

Coincidentally enough, we talked about this exact trade scenario in Episode One of Canescast, the new bloggers podcast about the Hurricanes. Episode Two, (Kaberlay), is now online and this one includes the familiar characters along with Dave from Carolina on Ice. Check it out when you have the chance and please let us know what you think.

The links to the latest Rutherford interviews are here, 99.9 The Fan and here, 850 The Buzz. I’ll be back later today to start a new poll. TGIF!