Arizona Coyotes Give Rick Tocchet Leave Of Absence

Rick Tocchet
Rick Tocchet behind the Arizona Coyotes bench during the third period of the NHL game at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime.

Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka announced today that head coach Rick Tocchet is dealing with a personal family illness. Due to this, the Coyotes will give coach Tocchet a leave of absence. Chayka said today that, “Family comes first”. assistant coach John MacLean will take over for the time being as head coach of the Coyotes.

Coyotes Give Rick Tocchet Leave Of Absence For The Time Being

The Arizona Coyotes under Rick Tocchet this year have a 22-35-11 record. It has been a tough first year for Tocchet and the Coyotes. Lately, however, the Coyotes have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL. They have a record of 10-3-2 in their last 15 games played.

This is Rick Tocchet’s second NHL head coaching job. He also coached the Tampa Bay Lightning for parts of two seasons. His record with them was 53-69-26 in 148 games coached. He has also been an assistant coach for the Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning, Phoenix Coyotes and Pittsburgh Penguins. He was the assistant coach the past two seasons with the back to back champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

John MacLean To Take Over For Now

There is no timeline for Tocchet’s return, however, assistant coach John MacLean will be the head coach until then. MacLean has coached 33 NHL games as a head coach in his career. Those came as a midseason replacement for the New Jersey Devils where he went 9-22-2 in 33 games.

MacLean has also been an assistant coach for the Devils from 2002-2009 and assistant coach for the Carolina Hurricanes from 2011-2014. This is his first year with the Arizona Coyotes. MacLean also coached one season in the AHL with the Lowell Devils, New Jersey’s farm team. The Devils went 39-31-10.

The Coyotes next game is March 13th against the Los Angeles Kings.

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