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Coyotes hire André Tourigny as next head coach

Patrick Sharp, Anson Carter and Keith Jones look at how Nikita Kucherov took over Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final for the Lightning as the beat the Canadiens, 5-1.

Another NHL head coaching vacancy has been filled as the Arizona Coyotes announced on Thursday that they have hired André Tourigny to be their next head coach.

Tourigny will replace Rick Tocchet, who spent the past four seasons behind the Arizona bench.

Terms of the contract were not released by the team, but he has reportedly signed a three-year deal.

“We are very pleased to name André as the new head coach of the Arizona Coyotes,” Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong said in a statement released by the team. “André is a tremendous person and one of the best young coaches in the game today. He is a winner, a great teacher and a strong communicator who has a proven track record of developing young talent. We are confident that he is the right person to lead our team on the ice and we are thrilled to have him in our organization.”

The 47-year-old Tourigny was previously the president of hockey operations and head coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67s. Prior to that, he had experience as an assistant coach in the NHL with the Avalanche and Senators. He has also coached for Hockey Canada during his coaching career.

More offseason changes to come?

This figures to be an offseason of change for the Coyotes after another season where they fell short of the playoffs, this time after losing 12 of their final 15 regular season games.

Arizona’s only playoff appearance since 2012 was their 2019-20 trip in the bubble after winning a play-in round series against Nashville. In a normal playoff season they would have again missed the postseason based on the standings.

Along with the coaching change there is the potential for significant changes to the roster. Goalie Antti Raanta is an unrestricted free agent, as is veteran defender Alex Goligoski. Oliver Ekman-Larsson also figures to be mentioned prominently in trade speculation, while the team has to work out a new contract with restricted free agent forward Conor Garland.