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Habs make Cole signing official

Well we all knew it for some time, but it wasn't until just after 6:30 that the Montreal Canadiens made it official that they signed free agent forward Erik Cole to a four-year deal.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed by the Canadiens in their press release, naturally, but it is being reported at $4.5 million per season.

The signing gives the Habs something they've needed for a long time, a good sized winger who can score and throw his weight around. Cole laid out 225 hits last season, and is known for his physical play and leadership skills.

CTV's Arpon Basu noted on Twitter that 22 of Cole's 26 goals came at even strength and that seven of his goals came in the last 11 games if the season, during the Canes push for a playoff spot.

More and reaction from Cole after the jump.

The 32-year-old was also a perennial Habs killer, logging 25 points in 28 games against his new team. His abilities came to light against Montreal, during the second round 2002 Stanley Cup playoffs, when Cole and his BBC line teammates were a dominant force.

Marc-Antione Godin of LaPresse feels that coach Jacques Martin might line him up with Tomas Plekanec and Mike Cammalleri to start the season.

Now it's just a waiting game until politics kick in and someone notices that the Habs current top-six may consist of four Americans (or three Americans and a Belarusian), a Czech and a Canadian from Ontario.

Tweet of the day: Tony Marianaro: "April 18, 2011. Jack Edwards re B.Pouliot: ''Benoit Pouliot 1 of greatest disappointments of talent in NHL History.'' You were saying, Jack?"