The Arizona Coyotes head coaching search has come to an end. Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet will be the new head coach in Arizona. Arizona previously parted ways with long-time head coach Dave Tippett right before the NHL Draft weekend in Chicago. They have been searching for his replacement ever since.
News started to break on this last week.
I haven’t dug in on this one, but sounds like there’s a good possibility Rick Tocchet is the Arizona Coyotes next head coach.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 6, 2017
Hearing ARIZ & Rick Tocchet working on a four-year deal to become Coyotes’ coach. Same term as Boughner (FLA), Green (VAN), Housley (BUF).
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 6, 2017
Confirmation came today.
I can confirm Rick Tocchet is leaving the Penguins to become head coach of the Arizona Coyotes.
— Ron Cook (@RonCookPG) July 11, 2017
Rick Tocchet Named Arizona Coyotes Head Coach
Tocchet has been one of the Penguins assistant coaches for the past three seasons, just under two full seasons under current head coach Mike Sullivan and a season and a bit under Mike Johnston.
Before becoming one of the Penguins assistant coaches, he provided commentary for the Philadelphia Flyers during intermissions for Comcast Sportsnet. He also was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2008-2010. He went 53-69-10 overall before being relieved of his duties. Tocchet was previously an assistant with the Colorado Avalanche as well as the Lightning and the Coyotes.
“If a situation arises, I’d love a shot at it,” Tocchet told TSN during this year’s Stanley Cup final. “Listen, there’s a lot of great coaches out there. Every year, it seems, there’s a flavour of the year coach – whether it’s a guy in the minors or an assistant that’s winning.
“I think I’m a good coach. I can work with anybody chemistry-wise. If it works out, it works out. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’m lucky in the situation I’m in, this is the best job other than being a head coach, being with Mike and the Penguins.”
As a player, Tocchet played for the Philadelphia Flyers from 1984-1992 before being traded to Pittsburgh, and playing from 1992-1997. He also played for the Coyotes from 1997-2000. He then was an assistant coach in 2005 in Arizona under Wayne Gretzky no less.