Pat­ter­son, Toc­chet to lead Coy­otes

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JOHN MAR­SHALL

Rick Toc­chet played three of his 18 NHL sea­sons with the Ari­zona Coy­otes. Steve Pat­ter­son worked three years at Ari­zona State Univer­sity, the fi­nal two as ath­letic di­rec­tor.

The Coy­otes’ two new lead­ers are back in the Val­ley of the Sun – Toc­chet as coach, Pat­ter­son as pres­i­dent and CEO – tasked with find­ing con­sis­tency on the ice, a per­ma­nent home and reignit­ing a fan base.

“I think we have the right peo­ple in place, from putting a win­ning team on the ice to find­ing a sta­dium that’s go­ing to make every­one proud,” Coy­otes owner An­drew Bar­roway said Thurs­day.

The Coy­otes’ on­go­ing desert saga has in­cluded bank­ruptcy, four sea­sons of be­ing run by the NHL, a new own­er­ship group, a dis­pute with the city of Glen­dale that led to the dis­so­lu­tion of a long-term lease agree­ment and nu­mer­ous ros­ter re-imag­i­na­tions. There also hasn’t been a lot of win­ning – aside from a run to the 2012 Western Con­fer­ence Fi­nals – which has led to wan­ing fan sup­port from a base that of­ten only awak­ens for a win­ning team.

The cur­rent or­ga­ni­za­tional shift started in re­cent sea­sons, as the Coy­otes skewed to­ward young, tal­ented play­ers and hired John Chayka, a 28-yearold an­a­lyt­ics whiz who be­came the youngest GM in NHL his­tory last year.

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