Coyotes hire Tocchet as head coach
The Arizona Coyotes have hired Rick Tocchet as head coach, turning the team over to a man who helped the Pittsburgh Penguins win the past two Stanley Cup titles.
The 53-year-old Tocchet, who spent the past three seasons as a Pittsburgh assistant, played 18 seasons in the NHL and helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup in 1992. Tocchet spent one season as an assistant to Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky in 2005-06 and played parts of three seasons with the team from 1997 to 2000. Tocchet’s controversial departure from his Coyotes coaching job did not figure into the decision to hire him, general manager John Chayka said.
Tocchet was on a leave of absence from his Coyotes job in 2007 when he pleaded guilty in New Jersey to conspiracy to promote gambling and promoting gambling. He was sentenced to two years’ probation. Tocchet briefly returned to the Coyotes in 2008 before being hired as an assistant at Tampa Bay. He became interim head coach of the Lightning and was head coach the next two seasons.