Rick Tocchet will not return as head coach of the Arizona Coyotes, the team announced Sunday.
Tocchet’s contract expires on June 30, and the Coyotes will begin their search for a new head coach immediately.
“After meeting with Rick, we have agreed that a coaching change is in the best interest of the club,” said Coyotes GM Doug Armstrong in a statement. “This was a very difficult decision, but we believe that it is time for a new direction and new leadership. Rick is a very good coach and an incredible person, and we sincerely appreciate all his hard work and dedication to the Coyotes the past four years. We are grateful for everything that he has done for our organization and wish him the best of luck in the future.”
Tocchet, 57, led the Coyotes to a record of 125-131-34 in 290 games over four seasons. Last year, Tocchet led the Coyotes to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. This year the team was 24-26-6 under Tocchet and missed the playoffs.
“It’s been an honor to coach the Coyotes the past four seasons,” said Tocchet 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. I also want to thank the fans of the Valley for all their support. I have loved living, playing, and coaching in Arizona and this place will always be special to me.”