SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -Carolina Hurricanes forward Erik Cole was removed from the ice on a stretcher in the third period Monday night and taken to a hospital after colliding with Florida Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun.
Cole was released from the Cleveland Clinic in Weston later Monday night and was cleared to fly after a CT scan was negative.
He was expected to join the Hurricanes' flight to Tampa on Tuesday morning and will continue to be monitored by the team's medical staff, Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement.
Cole was injured at 12:34 as he was driving to the net. He was checked from behind by defenseman Jassen Cullimore and crashed headfirst into Vokoun's pads.
``He was saying, 'Something is wrong with my neck,''' Vokoun said after Carolina's 4-3 victory. ``He didn't want to move. It's tough. It's a contact game. Things like that can happen, unfortunately.''
Cole remained motionless for several minutes before being taken off the ice.
``From what I understand, he had movement in his limbs,'' Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. ``He had some pain in his trapezoid area, and I think with his previous injury, not knowing what's going on in there, it's just better to be safe.''
The veteran of six NHL seasons is less than two years removed from a serious neck injury. Cole sustained a fractured vertebra on March 4, 2006, when he was boarded by Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik.
He missed the remainder of that regular season and Carolina's first 23 playoff games before making a surprise return to the Hurricanes lineup for the final two contests of the Stanley Cup finals when the team won its only NHL championship.
Cole's teammates were encouraged by the early reports of his condition.
``He had a stinger feeling going down both sides of his body,'' Hurricanes center Eric Staal said. ``I know on the ice he had some strength in his arms and movement in his legs.''

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Sophomore sensation carries load for Oilers Not only does Edmonton boast the NHL’s leading scorer in Connor McDavid, but it features arguably the hottest netminder on the...
Thumbnail Crosby focused on resuscitating Pens Riding a nine-game winning streak, Washington is the hottest team in hockey right now. But will the league’s third-leading scorer throw a wrench into the Caps’...
Thumbnail Western Conference titans clash shortly John Gibson is acclimating quite nicely to his new role as the Ducks’ workhorse in net. Still, can the 23-year-old cool off the Blues tonight?
Thumbnail Elite netminders lock horns in Montreal Two of the NHL’s most explosive offenses are preparing to collide in Quebec. With Carey Price and Henrik Lundqvist on the scene, however, will stellar...
Thumbnail Note goalie wades into hostile territory So far, Jake Allen's first season as the Blues' undisputed No. 1 netminder has not gone according to plan. But can he reverse the...
Advertisement

NHL Team Pages