Lightning signs defenseman J.P. Cote to a 2-year contract
Looking to get bigger and stronger on the blue line, the Lightning on Wednesday signed defenseman Jean-Philippe Cote to a two-year, two-way contract. He is expected to join the team immediately.
"Part of our thinking was maybe getting a little bit bigger on the back end with a little more bite, and that's what he brings," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We still feel potentially we might be a little bit light back there. He's just a bigger body that plays the game really hard."
Cooper knows Cote well, having coached him with AHL Norfolk and last season at Syracuse. Cote, 6 feet 2, 212 pounds, has two goals, nine points and 35 penalty minutes in 19 games this season with the Crucnh.
"He's just a big, strong, stay-at-home defenseman who for the most part makes other teams' forwards pay the price when they come in front of our net," Cooper said. "He's been an unreal soldier for this organization the past few years."
Here is the announcement from the team:
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Jean-Philippe Cote (COH-tay) to a two-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. Cote has been recalled to Tampa Bay and will wear No. 60.
Cote, 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, has played in 19 games with the Crunch this season, notching two goals and nine points with 35 penalty minutes. He leads all Crunch players with a plus-6 rating and is tied for second among team defensemen for goals. He has played in 535 career AHL games with Syracuse, the Norfolk Admirals, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Hamilton Bulldogs, registering 20 goals and 107 points.
He is a career plus-128 player during his AHL career. A native of Quebec City, Quebec, and son of former NHL players Alain Cote, he has played in 44 career Calder Cup playoff games, recording two goals and 10 points.
Cote won the Calder Cup with Norfolk in 2012. He had the second-highest plus/minus rating in the AHL playoffs last season with a plus-16.
Cote was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the ninth round, 265th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He has played in eight career NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens during the 2005-06 season.