— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) May 9, 2021
Rick Tocchet Leaves as Head Coach of Arizona Coyotes
After four years of coaching the Coyotes and only one playoff appearance aided by a 24-team play-in last season, the writing was on the wall that the team wants to move forward with a new bench coach. In a statement from Armstrong, “After meeting with Rick, we have agreed that a coaching change is in the best interest of the club,” said Armstrong. “This was a very difficult decision, but we believe that it is time for a new direction and new leadership. Rick is a very good coach and an incredible person, and we sincerely appreciate all his hard work and dedication to the Coyotes the past four years. We are grateful for everything that he has done for our organization and wish him the best of luck in the future.”
In four seasons behind the bench, Tocchet collected a 125-131-34 record over 290 games. This news comes just hours after the Columbus Blue Jackets added another name to the list of available coaches by stating that John Tortorella would be leaving under the same circumstances as Tocchet. The Coyotes have stated that the search for Tocchet’s replacement will begin immediately. So let the rumours begin as to whom the Coyotes go after to be their next head coach. Could Tortorella be in the mix? Who knows?
What the Future Holds With This Move
Of course, Armstrong will want to hire his own team to coach the Coyotes. He gave Tocchet a chance and when they failed to make the playoffs once again, that was the determining factor. It must be considered that this will be the first major move that Armstrong will be making. He stood pat at the trade deadline in an effort to see what this team could do; and now he knows. There will be a new coaching staff as well as new players added next season. Let’s see how Armstrong handles this important task.
Who’s your favourite replacement for Tocchet?