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Arizona Coyotes, head coach Rick Tocchet part ways

The Coyotes say they will begin a search for a new head coach immediately.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, file photo, Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet motions to one of his players during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings in Glendale, Ariz. Bolstered by a taste of playoff success, the Coyotes are aiming to go even deeper in a unique 2021 season with roster additions who are expected to add a level of toughness and tenacity. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes and head coach Rick Tocchet have agreed to mutually part ways after four seasons.

Tocchet's contract with the Coyotes expires at the end of June.

Coyotes General Manager Bill Armstrong said the decision was mutal.

"After meeting with Rick, we have agreed that a coaching change is in the best interest of the club," Armstrong said in a release. "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 joined the Coyotes in the summer of 2017. In 2020, he led the Coyotes to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. The Coyotes had a record of 125-131-34 in 290 games under Tocchet. 

"It's been an honor to coach the Coyotes the past four seasons," Tocchet said in a release. "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."

The Coyotes say they will begin a search for a new head coach immediately.

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