Check out my exclusive interview with former Flyer and current Adirontack Phantoms assistant coach Riley Cote.
Daniel Blanchard: At what age did you start playing hockey?
Riley Cote: I started playing when I was 5.
DB: Who was your favorite player growing up? What about now?
RC: Growing up I liked Mark Messier and Scott Arniel of the Jets, and is why I wore 11 growing up. Really liked Lucic and Prust.
DB: When did you know that you wanted to play hockey as your career?
RC: Probably since then. Ever since I started playing hockey I wanted to be an NHL hockey player.
DB: What do you think were the keys to your success of making it to the NHL?
RC: Determination, hard work and ultimately playing physical. Hitting and fighting especially.
DB: You were known as a fighter in your career as a player. What is usually said before and after a fight? Do you ever get into a good fight and say good fight to the other player?
RC: Yes. Fighting is a very respectful part of the game believe it or not. 2 guys just doing their job. “Do it up?” Or the traditional “wanna go?”. Many times good job was said after the fight was over as long as there were no cheap shots involved.
DB: What caused you to end your NHL career so early?
RC: Well I saw the writing on the wall. My body was breaking down, and I was probably going to be sent down to the minors and I was offered an opportunity to retire a Flyer and stay in a great organization on the coaching side of things. No brainer in my opinion.
DB: Do you enjoy the coaching part of the game more than the playing part?
RC: Well they are 2 completely different things. I’ve always loved helping people out so I’m really enjoying helping the young talent out. But nothing in life ever compares to playing an NHL game. Loved every second of it.
DB: Do you want to coach at the NHL level eventually?
RC: Yeah I would love to. Obviously it’s a process and much like playing you have to work your way up the ranks. But I’m just enjoying what I’m doing right now and we will see where this road takes me.
DB: What Phantoms and Flyers player(s) would you compare to your playing style?
RC: I guess right now Zach Fitzgerald for the Phantoms and Jody Shelley mixed with a bit of Zac Rinaldo for the Flyers.
DB: Any Phantoms players we should look for to be a Flyer next year other than guys like Erik Gustafsson and Ty McGinn?
RC: I think those 2 for sure. Hard to tell right now. I think Marcel Noebels has a shot down the road. Maybe not next year though.
Follow Daniel on Twitter @DBlanchardKS.