Photo: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images / Agence France-Presse
Rick Tocchet is the kind of coach who is not bothered if a player is called a to 21 h for him to share a thought.
He has no intention of changing his philosophy now that he has been named the new head coach of the Coyotes in Arizona. Tocchet has been there, and its 148 parties behind the bench of an NHL team make a man of 53 years head coach and the most experienced those who have been hired during the off-season.
Three positions have been filled by recruits. The Sabres of Buffalo have hired Phil Housley as an aircraft pilot, the Florida Panthers have offered the job of head coach Bob Boughner, then, that the Vancouver Canucks have done the same for Travis Green.
Almost all the directors-general have indicated that communication skills had been a major reason in the hiring of these coaches with little experience behind the bench.
“It was not all for months that Rick was one of the best communicators that I have encountered. Not only in hockey, but professionally, confessed to the director-general of the Coyotes, John Chayka. He can identify with the players, but he is strict. It can motivate and be aggressive, but he has a approach of big brother. “
Tocchet, Housley, Boughner, Green, John Stevens, newly head coach of the Los Angeles Kings, and Gerard Gallant, who was named to the helm of the Golden Kinghts of Vegas, have all changed in the NHL in the 90’s and they represent well the concept of the head coach and the players will enjoy.
Some of the recruits behind the bench of an NHL team will need a little more time to get success, as was the case for Dave Hakstol (Philadelphia Flyers), John Hynes (New Jersey Devils) or Jared Bednar (Colorado Avalanche), but the teams are more ready than I liked to risk by hiring a head coach without experience.
The director-general of the Panthers of Florida, Dale Tallon, has made a long-term process, and complete before the interview with Boughner vienna to convince him. Chayka was discussed with 25 coaches before considering Tocchet as the best candidate. The Canucks have made no other interview than the one with Green, who had led their club-school during the past four seasons.
The general manager of the Sabres, Jason Botterill, has for its part indicated that Housley was qualified for the position of head coach only because of his past as a player and as assistant coach. Experience in multiple levels can be as important in the eyes of the leaders.
“I was a player, owner, manager, head coach and assistant, said Boughner, about his transition into junior hockey. I know this league and I know the sport and I’m ready for the challenge. “
Tocchet helped with a lot of Phil Kessel, Housley was the architect of the ascent of Ryan Ellis, while Boughner has helped Brent Burns, who has just won a first Norris trophy in his career. But in addition to their ability to improve some players, they have described their style of play as fast-paced and exciting.
“I don’t want to take the sticks out of the hands of our players. I don’t want them to think too much. I want them to play and they have a certain freedom. Especially in the how to play hockey now in the NHL, ” said Tocchet.