Monday, December 03, 2007

Cote Suspended Three Games

by Bob Herpen
The Phanatic Magazine

Philadelphia Flyers forward Riley Cote has been suspended for three games without pay, as a result of being assessed a match penalty for attempt-to-injure during Saturday night's game against the Dallas Stars at the Wachovia Center, the National Hockey League announced on Monday.

Cote was penalized for leaving his feet and elbowing Dallas defenseman Matt Niskanen late in the third period of a 4-1 Stars victory.

Cote will miss the Flyers' next three games -- Dec. 5 at Minnesota, Dec. 7 at Colorado and Dec. 11 at home against Pittsburgh. He will be eligible to return Dec. 13 vs. Montreal.

This is the fifth suspension for a Philadelphia player doled out by league disciplinarian Colin Campbell in the first two-plus months of the season.

“I think it’s very fair,” said general manager Paul Holmgren in a statement issued on the Flyers website. “In Riley’s case, it was out of character for him. He’s been in our organization for a number of years now and he’s never had an incident like this. I know he feels very bad for it.”

“It’s unfortunate the way it happened, and that I put my team and my organization in this situation,” said Cote, who added that the punishment is about what he expected.

In addition to the suspension given to the youngster via a phone conference, Campbell and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman spoke briefly with Holmgren. According to several sources, both men notified him that the team is "on notice" about their spate of illegal hits and that the franchise would incur penalties if any further suspensions are warranted.

As Cote sits out, forward Scott Hartnell is due to return to the club for Wednesday's game in Minnesota after serving his two-game ban for a hit on Bruins defenseman Andrew Alberts last week.

No comments: