Enforcer Riley Cote announces retirement, becomes AHL assistant coach

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rileycote1.jpgWhat were you doing when you were 28 years-old? If your name was Riley Cote, an enforcer with the Philadelphia Flyers, you’d be retiring from the NHL to become an assistant coach in the AHL. The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that Cote was hanging it up as a player to become an assistant coach with the Flyers AHL team, the Adirondack Phantoms.

Salary-wise for the Flyers, it’s not a big move for them as Cote was making just $550,000 but this is more likely a move by Cote to change things up for himself. His chances of rejoining the Flyers to become the lead skating pugilist were slim and riding the buses in the AHL to be the fighter at that level can get tiresome. When the Flyers signed enforcer Jody Shelley this off-season, the handwriting was on the wall for Cote that his chances of getting back to the NHL were slim and none. After all, he didn’t get the job back last season even after Dan Carcillo started to play more of an agitator role rather than a brawler and roles in the NHL right now for guys that are straight-up fighters are few and far between. With Shelley taking Cote’s potential shot to make it in Philly, you can understand the position Riley Cote found himself in.

Of course, given that he’s just 28 it’s baffling to hear about a player retiring that young when there hasn’t been a tragic injury involved in cutting short a player’s career. It seems awfully strange to give up on what you love doing but staying in the game as a coach, and as a coach no one is likely to mouth off at either, is a good way to do it, especially when you can better identify with the players than a lot of coaches can. Besides, anyone having any issues can now duke it out with Cote to settle things.  I’m kidding… I think.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.

On a new contract, Avs don’t dress Stuart in opener

DENVER, CO - MARCH 14:  Brad Stuart #17 of the Colorado Avalanche looks on as he skates against the Calgary Flames at Pepsi Center on March 14, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Flames 3-2.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.

“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”

Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.

The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.