Raleigh, NC -- The introductions continue for the Carolina Hurricanes. On Friday, Ian Cole and Ethan Bear sat down with the media to discuss their recent signing with the Hurricanes and their goals for the next season.
Here's a bit of what they said:
Cole, a 32-year-old Michigan native, talked about the free agency process:
"The whole UFA process is a bit stressful, and as always, you think you have a handle on it, and you never quite do...The opportunity to come play for the Hurricanes came up, and in my career, winning and trying to win a Stanley Cup is really the only goal, to win hockey games and win the Stanley Cup. So I wanted to go to as good of a team as I could possibly be on, and the opportunity to play for the Canes was one that I jumped on immediately."
Cole, a Stanely Cup winner in Pittsburgh, talked about what's needed to achieve the ultimate goal of winning the Cup:
"I think talent is certainly a huge aspect of that. A lot of times, the most talented team wins, but I think looking at a team like Montreal, that's not always the case. I don't think anyone would say Montreal was the most talented team, and they got to the Cup finals. So I think there needs to be a very clear and committed-to team game, team formula. Defense in this league now is not just the defensemen playing defense; it's all five guys. And on the flip side of that puck, it's all five guys playing on offense too. I think to kind of project that onto the Hurricanes' roster, I think that you very much have those guys that have the ability that all the forwards come back to play defense, and all the defensemen can play defense, and then obviously all those guys can go and play on offense. It needs to be a five-man, the five guys that are on the ice need to play a team game, stay committed, stay connected, and I think that's something the Hurricanes have excelled at for the past couple years, and I think will only continue to grow and get better at. That's a huge aspect of being successful in the playoffs."
Cole also noted that the chance to play for Carolina head coach Rod Brind'Amour influenced his decision:
"He definitely has the accolades and the awards that I think he has very rightfully earned, but I think on top of that, you hear about the culture that he's grown with the team and his commitment to the team and that's really appealing to me. I think to have that sustained success over the course of multiple seasons and playoffs; you need to have that commitment to the team. I think to have a guy at the helm of the team like Rod, who had all the skill in the world but also the intangibles and the leadership, I think is a fantastic situation to come into. I'm just very, very excited to step into that culture and be led by someone of that stature."
Full video from CarolinaHurricanes.com:
Bear, a 24-year-old Canadian, will help fill the skates of Dougie Hamilton, who signed with the New Jersey Devils. Bear discussed the past year, which was a difficult one for him:
"Obviously, there's a lot of things that I wasn't able to do. We have COVID, and then you take a puck to the head; there's just a lot of bad bounces there. I'm really excited for this fresh start. I'm excited. I want to work hard and prove myself again. I'm excited for that, but obviously I didn't have as good a season as I liked. I'm just going to use that as motivation here going forward."
Bear also caught up with current Hurricane Jordan Martinook and some former Canes to get an idea of what to expect in Raleigh:
"I've talked to a couple guys from the team; some guys reached out already. But I'm actually still training here in Edmonton. I actually joined [Jordan Martinook] here for a couple workouts already. So he's been kind of filling me in on what I'm expecting. I'm excited. I also know a couple of the past players who played for the Canes in Joel Edmundson and Micheal Ferland. So I think the transition's going to be pretty smooth, so I'm looking forward to it."
As for what he brings to the table, Bear focused on the two-way aspect of his game:
"I know I can contribute in pretty much all aspects of the game. I think I'm a pretty well-rounded two-way defenseman. That's the fun part for me. I really enjoy defending. It's a fun part for me, and I've always taken a big pride in it, but when you can get into the rush and create something at the blue line, I think that's where you have the most fun in the game. Honestly, I'm just going to work on all my skills and work hard and see what happens. I'm excited, and I've got new energy, and I wanted a fresh start. I want to make a good first look and first impact, so we'll see how it goes."
Full video from CarolinaHurricanes.com:
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