Arizona hired Rick Tocchet as its head coach for the next four seasons Tuesday.
Tocchet was an assistant coach with the Penguins since 2014, which means he's also coming off consecutive Stanley Cup championships. He began his coaching career with Colorado as an assistant in 2002-03 before making pit stops with the Coyotes and Lightning.
His tenure with Tampa Bay included being the head coach from Novemeber 2008 through April 2010, so Tocchet does have head coaching experience.
Of course, he also brings 18 seasons of experience as a player, and he also played for the Coyotes for three seasons. Tocchet won a Stanley Cup as a player in 1992, as well.
In addition to the leadership and experience Tocchet will bring to the position, he's also capable of relating to players on all levels, which he views as one of his biggest strengths. Additionally, it's encouraging that he's familiar with the organization and area. Arizona hasn't had the smoothest stretch, but Tocchet has been involved first hand as both a player and a coach.
It's worth noting the success Pittsburgh has had over the past two seasons of promoting young players into important roles and having them succeed. It's without question that Tocchet deserves some credit for those successes, and now he has a roster full of high-end young talents.
The Penguins also shifted to more of an up-tempo style the past two seasons, and Tocchet projects to bring a similar approach to Arizona. He's already noted that young players need freedom to excel, and that he envisions the Coyotes playing a fun style of game.
The Coyotes made significant improvements this offseason, and added a number of solid veterans to complement their young talent. Adding Tocchet is another excellent move from general manager John Chayka.
This is a win-win situation for Chayka, Tocchet and the Coyotes. Tocchet was arguably the best coaching candidate available, and Chayka had already positioned Arizona to take a step forward. Tocchet can quickly solidify himself as a top coach by leading the Coyotes through the final stages of their rebuild and into a potential contender.
For our fantasy purposes, this projects favorably for the entire club.
Chayka got the right man for the job.
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