A potential unrestricted free agent after the season, Cole would not be able to nix a deal. The trade deadline is Feb. 28.
"It's not like I have a no-trade clause or anything like that," he said. "At the end of the day, this is a business, and this is our job. We're fortunate to do what we do, but there's always sort of an underbelly to everything. To move and change cities and change teams is not always the best thing, but it's not always the worst, either. Things like that, you can't control and you have to go out and continue to perform."
Laviolette is high on Cole. So are the Flyers, sources said. The winger has 14 goals and 17 assists while averaging 18 minutes, 4 seconds per game.
For the moment, Cole said his thoughts are directed toward helping Carolina earn a playoff spot. The Canes entered Thursday clinging to the eighth and last spot in the crowded East, and he probably won't be traded unless Carolina falls out of the playoff hunt.
"We've got enough on our own plate. As my buddy says, you've got to keep your eye on your own bobber," he said with a laugh.
Goalie Brian Boucher, being rewarded for his 3-1 win over Dallas on Saturday, started against Carolina. . . . Jeff Carter had climbed to plus-21 entering Thursday, placing him tied for 11th in the league. . . . Claude Giroux had posted at least a point in nine of his last 10 games before Thursday. - Sam Carchidi