Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Cote suspended, Flyers warned

Flyers pugilist Riley Cote was suspended three games for his high hit on Stars defenceman Matt Niskanen.

It's Philadelphia's fifth player suspension this season - Steve Downie (20 games), Jesse Boulerice (25), Randy Jones (2), Scott Hartnell (2), and Cote (3). That's a total of 52 games. Compare that to their 73 man-games lost to injury so far this season.

The league has taken note and issued stern warning to GM Paul Holmgren: control your players or else - with "else" undefined.

It's getting tougher to blow the rash of incidents off as merely coincidence. It could easily be argued that Patrice Bergeron and Andrew Alberts put themselves in vulnerable positions, which led to their injury. (Bruins fans, of course, would beg to differ.) Although Niskanen escaped unharmed, there's no question Cote delivered an intentional shot to the head.

To replace Cote, the Flyers recalled Downie, who recently finished serving his own 20-game suspension. The headcase that Downie is, it may not be long until Philadelphia gets their sixth suspension.

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