Have you ever caught yourself thinking of an old Caps' favorite and wondered, what ever happened to that guy?
Hockey, like all professional sports, is a tough business. Team legends can spend many years in one city but find themselves looking for a new team near the end of their careers. Other players are brought in to bolster the squad but are let go through free agency or trades just as they began to establish themselves in Washington.
The hockey world, however, does not end when players leave D.C. Here’s a look at some former Caps and how they fared after their time in Washington.
Played for Caps: 1991 – 1998 and 2000 - 2002
Stats with Caps: 622 GP, 75 G, 195 A, 2270 Pts, Postseason: 40 GP, 6 G, 14 A, 20 Pts
A regular on the Caps' blue line for nine seasons, Cote first came to Washington via a trade with the ol' Hartford Whalers just prior to the 1991-92 season.
Unfortunately for him, the Caps decided to trade him to Toronto in 1998. Though he was able to help the Maple Leafs back into the playoffs for the first time in three years, he would have to watch as his former team went on to win the Eastern Conference.
Very early into the 1999 season, Toronto traded Cote to Chicago and 45 games later, he was part of a four-player trade between Chicago and Dallas. This time, the trade did work out for Cote as he helped the Stars reach the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals. He also reached a personal milestone that season with his 1000th game while still with Chicago.
Cote would return to the Caps as a free agent in the summer of 2000 and spent two more productive seasons in Washington. In 2002-03, however, he only played in one game and was released. At 37-years old, he decided it was time to call it a career.
Playing alongside players like Kevin Hatcher, Al Iafrate and Sergei Gonchar, Cote’s offensive abilitis were largely underrated. He surpassed 50 points twice in his career, both with the Caps, including the 1992-93 season in which he scored 21 goals.
Cote retired to Annapolis, Md. As an avid fisherman, he opened Billfishing International, a fishing charter business. He also frequently participates in Caps charities, most recently in April when he and fellow alum Craig Laughlin hosted a hockey assembly at Rosa Lee Carter Elementary school.
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