Rick Tocchet deserved to be at the all-star game before the firing of Gerard Gallant from the Vegas Golden Knights. After the firing, the NHL had the time to right one of their mistakes.
Rick Tocchet is one of the longest-tenured coaches in the Pacific Division, and this is only his third year behind the bench. After you consider in-season firings by San Jose and Vegas, Tocchet is sitting very nicely as head coach of the Arizona Coyotes.
The NHL made their decisions on the coaches at the NHL all-star game right around the first of January. At the time Vegas sat in first place within the Pacific Division so Gerard Gallant was named the coach of the Pacific Division team.
After a very surprising firing, yesterday Gallant is out of Vegas and Peter Deboer was brought in. Needless to say this all lead to an empty seat at the all-star game behind the bench, and Tocchet was chosen to fill the position.
Tocchet might be the Coyotes only representation at this year’s all-star game. Darcy Kuemper is reportedly going to miss the event due to his lower-body injury, which is fine by me. I would rather have Kuemper take the time to get to 100 percent instead of playing in the meaningless game.
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This is Rick Tocchet’s third year behind the bench in Arizona and each season has seen improvement for the club. While Tocchet is at the all-star game his players and the rest of his staff better take the extended break to refuel and get ready for the push for the playoffs.
It is never a guarantee that a team in the playoffs right now will still be there in April, so let’s continue to play great hockey! That continues tonight against the Vancouver Canucks and another long-tenured coach within the Pacific Division Travis Green.
Honestly, if the NHL just looked at the last month of hockey to decide the all-star team coaches Green would have been a really good pick. His Canuck team has absolutely changed their entire season project the last few weeks and went from the bottom 4 in our division to just 3 points back the lead in the Pacific. Tonight’s game is bound to be good!