Coyotes, head coach Rick Tocchet mutually agree to part ways

The Arizona Coyotes and head coach Rick Tocchet have mutually agreed to part ways, the team announced Sunday.

Arizona will begin its search for a replacement coach immediately.

“After meeting with Rick, we have agreed that a coaching change is in the best interest of the club,” Bill Armstrong, general manager of the Coyotes, said in a press release. “This was a very difficult decision, but we believe that it is time for a new direction and new leadership.”

Tocchet, whose contract was set to expire on June 30, has been behind the Coyotes bench since 2017. In his four seasons with the club, he helped guide Arizona back to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

He leaves the organization with a record of 125-131-34 in 290 games.

“It’s been an honor to coach the Coyotes the past four seasons,” Tocchet said in a statement. “I have great respect and admiration for all the players I coached in Arizona, along with my coaching staff, the medical staff, the equipment managers, the PR staff and the team services staff. They are the best in the NHL, and I appreciate all their help and hard work.”

Tocchet’s departure from the Coyotes marked the second such move by an NHL franchise on Sunday. Earlier in the day, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that John Tortorella would no longer be acting as their head coach.

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