Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Life After Hockey?

In what seems to be the few stock photos available of him on the internet, Patrick Coté is kind of a enigma in the hockey world. Drafted 37th overall by the Dallas Stars in 1995, he was a tough, rugged winger who scored 20 goals and 40 points in his final season of junior. They aren't Eric Lindros or Sidney Crosby numbers, but the Stars wanted him for his style of play. He was 6'3", played the game tough, and could find the back of the net. In other words, he was the kind of guy that NHL teams coveted in the mid-to-late-1990s. His career with the Dallas Stars never really found the rails, though, and he bounced around the hockey world before retiring in 2008. For all it's worth, that may have been the best time of his life considering the trouble he may now be in.

While it didn't hit all the major news outlets, it seems, Patrick Coté was convicted to a prison sentence of 30 months today after he confessed to robbing two banks in Quebec. The 39 year-old was arrested after his car had broken down in Candiac, located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River across from Montreal. When responding officers ran the plates on the car he was driving, it turned out the car had been reported stolen. Police, rightfully, had him hop in the back of the squad car for transport to the police station for questioning.

Coté confessed during questioning that he had robbed a CIBC branch in Brossard in May and a Laurentian Bank in Saint Constant a couple of days after the first robbery. Needless to say, the driving of a stolen automobile suddenly seemed less important. However, the stolen car and the two bank robberies appear to be the latest crimes in what is turning into a history of criminal activity for the former NHL pugilist.

In February 2008, Coté was arrested in Montreal "after a man was severely beaten during an altercation outside a restaurant south of Montreal". The article in the Cape Breton Post states,
French-language daily Le Journal de Montreal reports Cote appeared in court Friday to face charges of assault, breaking and entering and mischief.

The report also says police allegedly found crack and cocaine inside Cote's vehicle when he was arrested Wednesday in the restaurant parking lot in Ste-Catherine, Que.

The newspaper reports police expect to lay drug charges against Cote in the coming days.
It doesn't end there, though. In July 2011, Coté turned himself in after violating his parole in northern New York, surrendering to US officers at the border crossing in Champlain. According to The Associated Press' article, "Cote was arrested in Malone in 2002 after police found 30 pounds of marijuana in his car. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of conspiracy. A New York judge issued a warrant for his arrest in 2004 when Cote failed to report to Canadian probation officials." It seems that the drugs caught up to Coté, and his job and lifestyle suffered for it.

Coté's NHL career lasted all of 105 games where he scored a lone goal and two assists while racking up 377 penalty minutes. 91 of those games were spent in a Nashville Predators uniform where he accumulated all three points in 1998-99 when he played 70 games. He also appeared in eight games for the Dallas Stars and six games for the Edmonton Oilers. Without being too much of a jerk, Coté will be better remembered for his rap sheet than his scoresheet.

Best of luck in prison, Monsieur Coté. And get some help.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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