Saturday, January 23, 2010
On this date in 2000, Sylvain Cote, then with the Chicago Blackhawks, played in his 1,000th NHL game in a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.
Cote, a defenseman, was originally drafted 11th overall by the Hartford Whalers in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft and broke into the NHL in 1984-85 with the Whalers, playing in 67 games that first season but a -30 rating did not do much to establish the young defenseman.
He played the majority of the next season back in junior hockey with the Hull Olympiques, getting more seasoning and gaining confidence, as he was named a First Team All-Star and scored 6 goals and 28 assists for 34 points in just 13 playoff games! He also won a silver medal with Team Canada at that year's World Junior Championships as well as being named a tournament all-star.
With that successful season on his resume, Cote returned to the NHL and played five more seasons in Hartford, qualifying for the playoffs each time, with his best year offensively coming in 1987-88 with 28 points in 67 games, his only season of his five in Hartford with over 20 points.
Prior to the 1991-92 season, Cote was dealt to the Washington Capitals for a second round draft choice and thrived under the Capitals system. Cote's point totals immediately putting up seasons of 40, 50 and then a career high of 51 points in 1993-94 as well as plus/minus numbers of +28 in 1992-93, a season in which he had a career high in goals of 21, and a +30 in 1993-94.
Four more seasons in Washington would follow, as well as a spot on Team Canada during the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
During the 1997-98 season, Cote was sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the trading deadline and played one full season in Toronto in 1998-99 with 29 points and a +22 rating.
1999-00 was one of unrest for Cote, as the Maple Leafs traded him in October to the Chicago Blackhawks after only three games. He then played 45 games in Chicago, including the 1,000th game of his career on this date in 2000 before being sent to the Dallas Stars in February and being rewarded with a trip to the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals.
Cote would return to Washington as a free agent for the final two seasons of his career in 2000-01 before being released after playing just one game in the 2002-03 season.
Cote completed his career with 1171 games played, scoring 122 goals and 313 assists for 435 points. In 102 playoff games he would add an additional 33 points.
Today's featured jersey is a 1993-94 Washington Capitals Sylvain Cote jersey with features the Washington Capitals 20th Anniversary patch. This jersey was worn during Cote's best offensive season in the NHL when he had career highs in points with 51, penalty minutes with 66 and plus/minus rating with a +30.
The Capitals wore these jerseys from their inception in 1974 all the way through the 1994-95 season. What really sets the authentic version of the Capitals jersey apart from the replica jerseys is that each letter of the Capitals logo on the front is a separate piece of material, rather than the entire crest being embroidered in a smaller size onto a patch, which would then be sewn onto the jersey. Each of the 16 stars on the chest and sleeves are also separate pieces of material which are sewn on. If you can get an old game worn or authentic Capitals jersey, do so, as it is one of the largest differences in quality between the authentic and the replica of any jersey.
Here is Cote in the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals being stopped by Martin Brodeur at point-blank range on a rebound.