Tocchet close to signing with Canucks, likely bringing two assistants with him: report

Jan 20 2023, 12:25 am

It’s a question of when, not if, Rick Tocchet becomes the next head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. And even the when is starting to become clearer.

A report from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggested that not only is Tocchet likely to replace Bruce Boudreau as Canucks head coach, the deal is essentially done. During Wednesday’s NHL on TNT broadcast, Tocchet said that he has not signed a contract.


Tocchet is expected to agree to a deal with the Canucks soon, reports TSN’s Chris Johnston.

The 58-year-old bench boss will likely bring two assistant coaches with him, Johnston adds, which could mean that Boudreau isn’t the only Canucks coach on the chopping block. Mike Yeo, Trent Cull, and Jason King are Boudreau’s current assistants. Sergei Gonchar and Richard Matvichuk are two names that Friedman floated as potential assistant coaching candidates.

“It sounds as though negotiations have started on that deal, that Rick Tocchet will probably arrive in Vancouver with a couple additions to his coaching staff as well,” Johnston said on Thursday’s edition of Insider Trading. “Of course, nothing’s officially done one hundred per cent until pens have been put to paper. That hasn’t happened yet, but it does sound as though it’s getting very close.”

Sportsnet 650’s Jason Brough reported that Tocchet could be in place by Monday. Ownership is not blocking a move, Irfaan Gaffar adds.

Whether Tocchet is the right man for the job is another story. He doesn’t have a sparkling record as an NHL head coach, though he did win two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins as an assistant. Coaches can improve with experience, though, and Vancouver would be Tocchet’s third head coaching opportunity after Tampa Bay and Arizona.

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