Cote with the Calder Cup in 2005.
March 16, 1982|
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)|
|Played for||Philadelphia Flyers|
Riley D. Cote (born March 16, 1982) is a former Canadian professional ice hockey left winger and formerly an assistant coach with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL). He played eight National Hockey League (NHL) seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers and was mainly known as an enforcer.
Undrafted after completing juniors, Cote was a walk on to the Toronto Maple Leafs training camp in fall 2002. He impressed the Leafs staff, signed a one-year contract, and was assigned to the Leafs Central Hockey League affiliate, the Memphis RiverKings. While called up to the St. John's Maple Leafs, Toronto's American Hockey League affiliate, a few times during the 2002–03 season, he spent most of his rookie year with the RiverKings and was with them when they won the CHL championship that season.
Not re-signed by the Leafs, Cote was signed to a two-way contract by the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL and entered the training camp for their NHL affiliate, the Columbus Blue Jackets, in fall 2003. Columbus released him and he returned to the Crunch. An eye injury caused during a pre-season scrimmage resulted in Cote being assigned to the Crunch's ECHL affiliate, the Dayton Bombers, for much of the 2003–04 season. Cote was recruited back to the RiverKings for the 2004–05 season but was offered a try-out contract by the AHL's Philadelphia Phantoms just before the season began. The Phantoms extended his contract twice through the season and Cote eventually spent the entire season with Philadelphia, accumulating a team-leading 280 penalty minutes in the process, and helped the Phantoms win the Calder Cup as league champions. Shortly after the season ended, the Phantoms signed him to a one-year contract.
After participating in the Philadelphia Flyers training camps in the fall of 2005 and 2006, Cote was signed to a two-way contract by the Flyers in 2006–07. Early in the season, he was assigned to the Phantoms and shortly after suffered an ankle injury that kept him from playing for two months. Late in the season, Cote played in his first 8 NHL games with the Flyers, making his NHL debut on March 24, 2007 against the New York Islanders. Cote was recognized for his contributions to the community when the Phantoms named him as the team's 2006–07 Man of the Year. Cote was re-signed by the Flyers to a one-year contract for the 2007–08 season and made the team out of training camp.
Cote was suspended for three games after he delivered a high head shot to Dallas Stars defenceman Matt Niskanen late in the third period on December 1, 2007. He became the fifth Flyers player to receive a suspension during the 2007–08 season after Steve Downie, Jesse Boulerice, Randy Jones and Scott Hartnell.
Cote scored his only NHL goal on February 17, 2008 against rookie goaltender Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens. On July 2, 2008 the Flyers announced they had signed Cote to a three-year contract extension.
- 2002–03: Ray Miron President's Cup Memphis RiverKings
- 2004–05: Calder Cup Philadelphia Phantoms
- 2006–07: Man of the Year, Philadelphia Phantoms
- 2007–08: Pelle Lindbergh Memorial, Philadelphia Flyers
|1998–99||Prince Albert Raiders||WHL||37||3||2||5||63||9||0||0||0||9|
|1999–00||Prince Albert Raiders||WHL||67||6||7||13||71||3||1||0||1||2|
|2000–01||Prince Albert Raiders||WHL||64||17||35||52||114||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||Prince Albert Raiders||WHL||67||28||23||51||134||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||St. John's Maple Leafs||AHL||6||0||0||0||5||—||—||—||—||—|
Cannabis and hemp advocacy
During his time in the NHL, Cote used cannabis as a natural pain-reliever and alternative to addictive pharmaceutical drugs. After retiring, Cote co-founded Athletes for Care, a group that advocates for athletes on various matters of health and safety including the use of cannabis as medicine.
Cote is also an advocate for hemp, founding the Hemp Heals Foundation to educate the public about the nutritional benefits of hemp and its numerous eco-friendly industrial uses. The organization hosts an annual music festival in Philadelphia to raise awareness about the various benefits and applications of the hemp plant. Cote is also a board member of the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council.
- Vickers, Aaron (September 15, 2003). "Blue Jackets: Enforcers Fighting for a Chance at Camp". hockeysfuture.com. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
- "At The Top Of His Game". Philadelphia Phantoms. April 11, 2007. Archived from the original on August 14, 2007. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
- Kurz, Kevin (August 2, 2007). "News: Cote Determined to Open Eyes in Training Camp". Philadelphia Flyers. Archived from the original on August 30, 2007. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
- "Riley Cote Official Player Page - Bio/News". Philadelphia Flyers. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
- Unkle, David. "Newest Flyer debuts from the Sin Bin". Canoe.ca. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
- "Cote named Phantoms 2006-07 Man of the Year". Philadelphia Phantoms. April 3, 2007. Archived from the original on February 4, 2008. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
- "News: Flyers Re-Sign Riley Cote and Boyd Kane". Philadelphia Flyers. July 25, 2007. Archived from the original on September 19, 2007. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
- "News: Flyers Sign Randy Jones and Riley Cote". Philadelphia Flyers. July 2, 2008. Archived from the original on August 11, 2008. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
- "A new chapter". Philadelphia Flyers. August 9, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
- Tomoski, Miroslav (December 1, 2017). "This NHL enforcer says cannabis is an undervalued healing tool for professional athletes". Herb. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- Robson, Dan (November 25, 2017). "Why former NHLer Riley Cote wants hockey to embrace cannabis". Sportsnet. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- Peake, Gage (August 28, 2017). "How Cannabis Helped NHL Enforcer Riley Cote Survive His Hockey Career". Leafly. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- "Advocate". Athletes for Care. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- "About the foundation". Hemp Heals Foundation. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- Mullin, Matt (July 19, 2016). "Ex-Flyer Riley Cote hoping Hemp Heals Festival will educate as well as entertain". PhillyVoice. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- "Meet the Board". Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council. Retrieved April 1, 2018.