The Arizona Coyotes hired Rick Tocchet to be the head coach on Tuesday.
Tocchet comes into his new position on the heels of two Stanley Cup Championships with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He worked as an assistant coach with the Penguins and was a key member of their coaching staff. Rick Tocchet is certainly familiar with the Coyotes organization, having spent three seasons of his 18-year career with the team from 1997-2000. He also spent time as an assistant coach for the Coyotes during the 2005-06 season.
“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 [owner] Mr. [Andrew] Barroway and [general manager] John Chayka for this incredible opportunity. I can’t wait to get started.”
The new coach joins a team that is in the midst of a large transition. Coyotes ownership and management has already parted ways with veteran and former captain Shane Doan. They also parted ways with former coach Dave Tippett after 8 seasons behind the bench.
This change leads to a monumental opportunity, however, for Tocchet. He signed a four-year contract with the Coyotes and has plenty of work ahead trying to lead a young team back to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.