Riley Cote – Best Man and Better Hockey Player

Donna LeFevre and Scott Sullivan tied the knot recently at Center Ice of the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia and Riley Cote was their best man. It all came together pretty quickly and Phantoms PR Director, Mike Thornton shed some light on the situation.

“The couple came to us and we basically tried to oblige them in every facet.”

Riley, the team’s most popular player and enforcer was visibly limping, because of an ankle injury, and he had his jersey draped over some striped suit pants. He looked very dapper as one of the groomsman.

“I only found like five days before I was hurt,” said Cote.

So did he party with the groom?

“I actually only saw them ten minutes before the wedding,” he said honestly.

There were about 12 people in the wedding party with six on the each side. They held up their sticks at the end much the same way they do it at a military ceremony.

The “Olay song” was played at the end (the couple’s choice) and there was no ceremonial first skate/dance because the Zamboni had to get out there and do its job because this all happened in between periods of the Phantoms/Albany game.

The 7,106 in attendance all cheered but they did leave out the all important does anybody object question because it is Philadelphia and that did happen to a couple that did it many years ago.

The couple has been together for 6 ½ years and the hockey world will be watching to see if they can make it for the long haul.

Cote, a Manitoban native, was ready to finally get his shot with the Flyers and then coach Hitchcock scratched him for a few games and that’s where some bad luck crept into the equation.

He spent his first four seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL and his best season saw him pot 28 goals. After playing a bit in the CHL and ECHL the hard-nosed forward has spent the last four years in the AHL. He was a key member of the Phantoms Calder Cup winning team of 2005 and now he is 24-years-old and itching to get his shot at the big time.

During his injury he has seen a coaching change. John Stevens, who was his head coach for the Phantoms, replaced Hitchcock. And like many other Phantoms Cote is looking to get a chance to show what he can do. He hasn’t been asked to score goals since 2001 but so many others in his line of work have had to go back to the drawing board, because of the “New NHL” and now he will have to kick in offensively if he wants to have an NHL career.

“It’s been very disappointing. I made the roster out of camp. They sent me down to get some games in and, my luck; in the third game on the second shift I tore some tendons in my ankle. It’s been killing me because I can’t do a whole lot. There’s nothing I can do. It’s just a bad bump in the road.”

Like Samson, Cote had long hair before this season but he had an explanation as to why he had a short-cropped dew.

“At the start of the summer it’s just too hot and humid here and I got a bad haircut. I went back three times. I wound up looking like Jason Priestly.”

From 2004-06 he racked up 539 PIMS because that’s what was asked of him. His greatest strength as a player is team-first attitude. He will do whatever is asked of him and he did whatever was asked of him off the ice like becoming a best man for a few diehards.