Arizona Coyotes News: Rick Tocchet Hired as Head Coach

The Arizona Coyotes have announced they have hired former Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet as their head coach. 

The Arizona Coyotes are making a lot of changes this offseason. They’ve traded for both Antti Raanta and Derek Stepan, giving up a first round pick and Anthony DeAngelo in the process. The Coyotes also traded for Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nicklas Hjalmarsson.

These changes are happening behind the bench as well. After firing head coach Dave Tippett just before the 2017 NHL Draft, they have announced Rick Tocchet will be hired to take over.

“We are very pleased to name Rick as our new head coach,” said general manager John Chayka, via NHL.com. “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. We’re thrilled to have him re-join our organization.”

Tocchet will be replaced by Mark Recchi by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He had helped the Pens win back-to-back Stanley Cups. Now Pittsburgh has lost Jason Botterrill to the Buffalo Sabres and Tocchet as well. This is on top of losing Marc-Andre Fleury to the Vegas Golden Knights, Trevor Daley to the Detroit Red Wings and Chris Kunitz to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

This will be Tocchet’s first shot as an NHL head coach. He’ll be taking over a very young team, one that finished near the bottom of the standings last season. However, thanks to their offseason acquisitions, Tocchet will be expected to get some results early. In a relatively weak Pacific Division, the Coyotes could sneak into a playoff spot.