Photo courtesy of Hemp Heals Foundation.
Pattison Ave writer Jason Peters interviewed former Philadelphia Flyers LW and current Lehigh Valley Phantoms Assistant Coach Riley Cote on his podcast. They spoke about his playing career in Philly, his current coaching career, and his current business ventures. Cote has access to the young players within the Flyers farm system and is a part of developing young talent. Below is the link to listen to the interview as well as dialogue from the conversation.
You can listen to the entire interview here: Ritefully Wrong Podcast w/ Riley Cote & listen to Pattison Ave’s signature podcast Flyperbolecast.
Cote talked about the path he took going undrafted into the NHL, through the back roads of the AHL and CHL. He was “a walk on, on every pro team (he) ever played for.” He spoke about the best parts of being a professional athlete, saying “doing something you love and doing something your passionate about, well you just can’t beat that,” and highlighted the brotherhood and camaraderie of the Flyers locker room. When asked “What was the hardest part of being an NHL player?” he responded:
“Staying healthy, not taking yourself out of the lineup, injuries and preventing injures is a big one especially if you are a fringe player. You get pulled out of the lineup, and then someone is right there taking your spot.”
Cote then went on to highlight his role as the enforcer on the team, and regarding how hard fighting was on his body, he replied: “Staying healthy was a priority, mainly with my hands, the swelling of the hands (from punching) had to be minimal enough to be able to hold the hockey stick.” He continued to talk about fighting guys “way out of his weight class,” mentioning that he had to fight guys who were 50lbs heavier than him and 6 inches taller than him.
Currently, Cote is an assistant coach for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. When asked about his duties as an assistant coach, he said that last season he was in charge of the penalty kill, showing film during practice and pregame, and individual management of players. Cote talked about having the opportunity to soak up the things that other coaches do and learn the ways of “great hockey minds”.
When asked “What improvements are being made to make the Phantoms back in playoff contention?” he said that consistency was their main problem and said that they were a “young team,” but immediately recanted because he “doesn’t like to use that excuse.” Cote explained that “the name of the game is speed these days, everybody’s gotta be quicker, faster, and just find a way to put more pucks in the net.”
Lastly, when asked “Who is your most NHL-ready player?” he confessed that it was hard to pick just one, which is a good sign for Flyers fans, but went on to say that he expects (defenseman) Brandon Manning to be with the Flyers next year. He also mentioned (center) Scott Laughton, who he said is “right on the cusp of being up-there,” and (defenseman) Shayne Gostisbehere, who only played five games last year but is an impressive offensive-defenseman.
There is much of the interview that has not been typed out, but Cote gave us an insider’s look into the future Flyers. He was incredibly generous to call into talk on “Ritefully Wrong” and I thank him for his time.