Coyotes tab ‘great leader and communicator’ Tocchet as club’s new head coach
The Arizona Coyotes announced today (July 11) that the Coyotes have signed Rick Tocchet to a multi-year contract to serve as the club’s head coach.
Tocchet becomes the 18th head coach in franchise history, taking over for Dave Tippett.
“We are very pleased to name Rick as our new head coach,” said Coyotes GM John Chayka. “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 re-join our organization.”
Tocchet, 53, joins the Coyotes following three seasons and back-to-back Stanley Cup championships as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tocchet joined Pittsburgh on June 25, 2014 and helped the Penguins become the first team since the 1997 and 1998 Detroit Red Wings to win consecutive Stanley Cup titles.
“I’m extremely happy to be back with the Coyotes organization,” said Tocchet. “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. Barroway and John Chayka for this incredible opportunity. I can’t wait to get started.”
The Scarborough, Ont., native began his coaching career as an assistant with the Colorado Avalanche from 2002-04. Tocchet spent one season as an assistant with the Coyotes in 2005-06 before joining the Tampa Bay Lightning as an assistant coach in 2008. He was named interim head coach of the Lightning on Nov. 14 and later head coach following the 2008-09 season. Tocchet served as Tampa Bay’s head coach for two seasons (2008-10).
The former winger played 18 NHL seasons including parts of three seasons with the Coyotes (1997-00). Tocchet totaled 64 goals and 66 assists for 130 points and 371 penalty minutes in 213 games with Phoenix. He finished second on the team with 26 goals in both 1997-98 and 1998-99.
The four-time NHL All-Star won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 1992 and played in the 1987 Stanley Cup Final with the Philadelphia Flyers. Tocchet totaled 440-512-952 and 2,972 PIM in 1,144 career NHL games with the Flyers, Penguins, Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals. His best season came in 1992-93 when he played alongside Mario Lemieux and totaled 48-61-109 and 252 PIM.
Tocchet is one of just three players in NHL history to record 400-plus goals and 2,500 PIM while he also registered five 30-plus goal seasons and three seasons with 40-plus goals.
He was originally drafted by the Flyers in the sixth round (125th overall) in the 1983 NHL Draft.
Tocchet also represented Canada on multiple occasions including the 1990 and 1991 World Championships while winning Canada Cup titles in 1987 and 1991.