Coyotes hire Rick Tocchet as head coach

Posted: 12/07/2017 in NHL, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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The Arizona Coyotes hired Rick Tocchet as their new head coach Tuesday, the team announced.

Tocchet becomes the 18th head coach in franchise history, and joins a Coyotes organization that’s flush with young talent in need of a fresh voice behind the bench.

“We are very pleased to name Rick as our new head coach,” Coyotes general manager John Chayka said in a statement.

“Rick is an excellent coach and a proven winner. While with the Penguins, he won a Stanley Cup as a player and two cups as a coach. He’s experienced, knowledgeable and is a great leader and communicator. He’s also a former Coyotes player and assistant coach and the perfect fit for us. We’re thrilled to have him rejoin our organization.”

Chayka went on to say that Tocchet was the best candidate for the job “by a wide margin,” according to Craig Morgan of AZ Sports 98.7 FM.

The former NHL player heads to Arizona following three seasons as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins, signing a contract that will keep him in the desert for at least the next four years, according to Dan Rosen of NHL.com.

“I’m extremely happy to be back with the Coyotes organization,” Tocchet said. “I loved playing and coaching here in the Valley and have always considered Arizona my home. We have a great young team with a ton of talent and I’m excited about leading this group of players. I’d like to thank Mr. (Andrew) Barroway and John Chayka for this incredible opportunity. I can’t wait to get started.”

The Scarborough, Ontario native previously spent one season as an assistant coach with the Coyotes in 2005-06, and played parts of three campaigns (213 games, 64 goals, 66 assists) with the club between 1997-2000.

Tocchet’s hiring comes nearly a month after the team decided to part ways with former bench boss Dave Tippett.

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