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Coyotes name Tocchet as new head coach

12 July 2017 04:53

A familiar face will be coaching the Arizona Coyotes for the 2017-18 NHL season following Rick Tocchet's appointment.

On Tuesday, the Coyotes hired former player Tocchet as their new head coach, replacing Dave Tippett.

Arizona did not reveal the terms of Tocchet's contract but did say it was a multi-year deal as the ex-Tampa Bay Lightning boss became the Coyotes' 18th coach in franchise history.

"We are very pleased to name Rick as our new head coach," general manager John Chayka said.

"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 organisation."

Tocchet, 53, played three of his 18 NHL seasons with Phoenix, from 1997-2000.

He replaces Tippett, who was fired on June 22 after the Coyotes missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.

"I'm extremely happy to be back with the Coyotes organisation," 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 can't wait to get started."

Tocchet served as an assistant coach for the Coyotes under Wayne Gretzky and was even the team's interim head coach when the NHL great missed five games in 2005 to tend to his ill mother.

He was also the interim coach for the Lightning, going 5-7-4 in 2008 after Barry Melrose was fired.

Tocchet officially was named Tampa Bay's head coach in 2009 but was fired midway through his second season after posting a 53-69-26 record.

He has been an assistant with the Penguins since 2014, helping Pittsburgh win consecutive Stanley Cup titles.

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