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Cote Determined to Open Eyes in Training Camp

by Kevin Kurz / Philadelphia Flyers
Left wing working extra-hard for roster spot

(Voorhees, NJ, August 2) – In a complete reflection of his style on the ice, Riley Cote doesn’t pull any punches when asked what his goals are heading into Flyers training camp this fall.

“I’m going to go into training camp with a chip on my shoulder and to earn a spot, and that’s it,” said the 6’2’’, 216-pound left wing.

He continued: “I’m not going to think about anything else. Nothing is going to stop me, and I’m going to go through any kind of obstacles that I have to and earn that spot. I’m excited to get going on September 14th, and I’m going to train just as hard as I have been up until then.”

Riley Cote was a key member of the Phantoms 2005 Calder Cup Championship. (Getty Images)
Cote’s summer training regimen sounds like something out of a Bruce Lee movie, if only the late martial arts star knew how to skate. In addition to his basic workouts and time on the track working on his cardio, Cote has been seeing Viatcheslav Kuznetsov, a power skating coach, to work on a part of his game that he feels could use improvement.

“It’s basically just skating with no pucks, trying to develop more speed, quicker starts, quicker turns, and just basic skating,” he explained.

Marco Perazzo works with Cote four days a week doing mixed martial arts and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which Cote is hoping will make him a better fighter. With 664 penalty minutes for the Phantoms the past three seasons combined, Cote knows that his ability to play the enforcer role is his meal ticket to the NHL, especially now that former Flyers-tough guy Todd Fedoruk has signed with the Dallas Stars.

“We do all kinds of hockey-fighting style things. It’s just going to develop balance and strength. I just work on my technique, my grappling, and just tying up and getting my arms free. It’s the closest thing to hockey fighting we can do without skates, but it’s definitely going to help.”

“I think both are going to be very beneficial for me, and helping out in both areas that I need to improve upon.”

Cote began his Philadelphia career in 2004, when he signed a contract with the Flyers after brief stints in the AHL with St. John’s and Syracuse. He played 61 games that season recording four goals and seven assists to go along with 280 penalty minutes, as Philadelphia went on to capture the Calder Cup.

After another full season with the Phantoms in 2005-06, in which he recorded three goals, one assist and 259 penalty minutes in 70 games, Cote entered training camp last season with the goal of making the Flyers. In fact, he was on the NHL roster for the team’s first three games of the season, but did not get into any game action.

Cote was reassigned to the Phantoms after that third game, and promptly suffered an ankle injury, causing him to miss more than two months of the season. He kept working hard to get back on the ice, though, and was recalled to the Flyers in time for the final seven games of the regular season, going scoreless with 11 penalty minutes.

This year, he plans on making the club from the outset once again.

“That’s the ultimate goal and it’s been my goal since being a kid. This is my opportunity, and I really feel I’ve done everything I possibly could to be ready for this. I’m just going to keep working hard and I can’t wait until September 14th rolls around so I can show what I’ve got.

“I can only control what I do. If I go out and have a great camp and play some great exhibition games, I think I have a shot. I just have to do what I do, keep moving forward and not worry about anything else.”
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