The head coach can make or break an NHL team. The Arizona Coyotes know all about that. Rick Tocchet, the current head coach of the Coyotes has done a great job. He is next up in our Journey to the desert!
Rick Tocchet is in his fifth year as a coach. We already talked about the challenges Tocchet might face if the Coyotes fail to succeed this year, but let’s forget about that for now. Tocchet is in his third year with the Arizona Coyotes, and he has turned a group of players playing for themselves into a team.
Rick Tocchet joined the Arizona Coyotes before the 2017-18 season. It took a little while for Tocchet to take over the team, but over the course of the last few years, the ‘Yotes have improved dramatically. Tocchet went from 29-41-12 in his first year to 39-35-8 last year, not bad from the former Coyotes player.
Before Tocchet started to play he was also a player. Tocchet played in 1144 games in his NHL career, including 213 with the Coyotes. The former right ringer won a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992 before hanging up his skates 10 years later in 2002.
Tocchet worked hard as a player, and he still is now as a coach. He spent 2 years coaching the Tampa Bay Lightning 10 years ago, but unfortunately, that did not really work out. Tocchet then spent some time working around the NHL on TV before finding a home as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He even added two more Stanley Cup rings to his sock drawer with the Pens.
After the success Tocchet had in Pittsburgh as an assistant coach, there was no question he would find a job as a head coach. He joined Arizona to help bring the Cup to the Coyotes, and honestly, he is close. The Arizona Coyotes have improved every year Tocchet has been in control, hopefully, he can help push the team the next step to the playoffs this year
Tocchet’s road to Arizona is one that benefits both parties. If the Coyotes succeed they can return to the playoffs, something they have not done since 2012. This will also help Tocchet redeem himself as a head coach after two bad seasons in Tampa Bay.
The Coyotes are lucky that the road for Rick Tocchet has led to Arizona. Hopefully Tocchet can show the Coyotes the lead the team on the road to the cup!