NAME: Riley Cote
POSITION: Left Wing
Regular Season Statistics: 15 Games Played – 0 Goals, 0 Assists, 0 Points. Even
Analysis: The statistical totals for Cote shouldn’t be all that surprising. Over his career, he’s only scored once in 156 games. But, hey, he was even in the plus/minus category, so he couldn’t have been hurting the Flyers all that much during his brief stints in Orange and Black this season! Of course, in his fifteen games this season, Cote wasn’t at a loss for the token trip to the penalty box, notching up 24 PIMs and bringing his career total to 411.
Postseason Statistics: DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
Analysis: It’s not really hard to figure it out at this point – fighters simply aren’t that necessary once a team gets to the NHL’s second season. Peter Laviolette re-emphasized that by letting Cote skate in the warm-ups for every single playoff game this spring, then marking him off as a healthy scratch and allocating him to watching games in a suit from the press box. Cote was passed over for Phantoms when his fellow teammates went down with injuries in the postseason, and no one seemed to bat an eyelash. No one will again when he spends the majority of next season in a suit.
FINAL GRADE: F
Reasoning: Harsh? Probably a bit. Deserving? Absolutely. I’ll be honest here: Cote has no place in the NHL. Having a fighter on a team is not exactly a necessity anymore, and players that play physical also now need to have the complementary skill in order to keep a steady job in the league. There’s no doubting Cote’s physical presence when he’s on the ice: he’ll fight anyone and defend he and his teammate’s honor at basically any cost. However, as far as a permanent job on the Flyers is concerned, it’s safe to say that those years are behind Cote. It’s a shame, really. From all accounts, Cote is a great guy, and was nice enough to do an interview with me here on this blog way back before the season started. It’s just that at the present, there’s no way anyone can convince me that Cote is anything but a liability when he suits up in a Flyers uniform.