On the ice, Riley Cote was a tough guy who often encouraged his opponents to drop their gloves.
Now, the retired NHL enforcer is asking hockey players to drop their alcohol and opioids, so they can pick up pot.
“It’s changing the conversation when it comes to the recovery process,” Cote, 36, said in an interview with CBC Toronto.
Hockey is a rough sport and full of injuries.
Whether it’s recovering from a puck to the ankle, or a career of concussions, Cote believes medicinal cannabis is an underutilized and more “sustainable” way for players to ease the pain.
“Traditionally, especially in sports, it’s always been with destructive substances like alcohol, opioids, sleeping pills,” Cote said. “I’m all about increasing quality of life and giving guys an alternative to traditional protocols.”
Cannabis banned by NHL
Cote was in Markham on Monday speaking about cannabis with a group of NHL alumni.
The event was put on by the Medicinal My Way cannabis advocacy group and the Athletes for CARE organization dedicated to helping retired athletes.