Coyotes Name Rick Tocchet New Head Coach

The Arizona Coyotes have their replacement for Dave Tippett officially announcing former ‘Yote player and assistant coach Rick Tocchet as the new head coach Tuesday morning. 

The 53-year-old re-joins the organization after serving as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins the past three seasons, including back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships the past two years. 

“I’m extremely happy to be back with the Coyotes organization,” Tocchet said in a statement released by the team. “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.”

Tocchet played three seasons with the Coyotes (1997-2000) during his 18-year NHL career and finished second on the team with 26 goals in both the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons in the Valley.

He began his coaching career as an assistant with the Colorado Avalanche from 2002-04 before serving as a Coyotes’ assistant during the 2005-06 campaign. He was hired by the Tampa Bay Lightening as an assistant coach in 2008 before becoming head coach for two seasons (2008-2010).

“We are very pleased to name Rick as our new head coach,” said General Manager John Chayka in a statement. “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 will be formally introduced Thursday afternoon at a press conference at Gila River Arena in Glendale.