The Arizona Coyotes have their coach.
The team announced on Tuesday that it has hired Rick Tocchet to be its next head coach, replacing Dave Tippett after he parted ways with the organization earlier this summer.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger Tocchet’s contract with the team is for four years. He spent the past three seasons working as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins, helping lead the team to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles over the past two years.
“We are very pleased to name Rick as our new head coach,” said general manager John Chayka in a team 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.”
He was previously an assistant coach for the Coyotes starting in 2005 before moving on to the Tampa Bay Lightning where he spent parts of two seasons behind their bench as a head coach.
He also spent three years in Arizona as a player between 1997 and 2000.
“I’m extremely happy to be back with the Coyotes organization,” said Tocchet in the Coyotes’ statement. “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’s hiring should mostly wrap up what has been an extremely busy offseason in Arizona. Along with the coaching shakeup, the team has also made significant changes to the roster by bringing in Antti Raanta, Derek Stepan and Niklas Hjalmarsson while also letting go long-term veterans Shane Doan and Mike Smith.