Rick Tocchet next Vancouver Canucks head coach

Rick Tocchet is set to leave TNT and rejoin the NHL’s head coaching ranks next week. This puts an end to a long-running soap opera between the Vancouver Canucks management and their treatment of Bruce Boudreau.

“On Monday we expect Rick Tocchet to be announced as the next head coach of the Vancouver Canucks,” Jeff Marek reported on Sportsnet. “Nobody likes the way this has been handed but Bruce Boudreau leaves with his integrity intact. I think he’s gained a lot of respect around the league.”

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Rick Tocchet next Vancouver Canucks coach

nhl rumors rick tocchet
Feb 22, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet reacts during the second period against the Anaheim Ducks at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

After the Canucks fell to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night, Boudreau in essence confirmed all the reports.

“I don’t know the reasoning why I’m still here but maybe because the next games are Chicago, Seattle & Columbus,” Boudreau quipped. “For the new group, good luck. I thought it was over in November when certain things were said… We had a lot of one goal losses but the guys gave it their all… A great group of guys that I think Rick Tocchet is taking over.”

Boudreau took over last season for Travis Green, who was fired early in the year. The Canucks immediately responded to Boudreau and just missed securing a wild card spot by a few points.

This season has been nothing but turmoil from cap issues to injuries and slow starts by many players. There’s also been the distraction of captain Bo Horvat’s contract negotiations which appears to spell the end of his tenure in Vancouver.

The 2022-23 Canucks now bid farewell to Boudreau with a record of 18-25-3. For his tenure in Vancouver, he finishes with an overall record of 50-40-13 amassed during two partial seasons. The 68 year-old has a career record of 617-342-128.

Tocchet taking over ends speculation that began in November, first reported by ESPN’s Kevin Weekes.

“[Boudreau] is an outstanding coach…but there’ve been some comments from Jim Rutherford that a coaching change could be on the horizon,” Weekes said. “Everyone is looking at Barry Trotz but I’m also looking at Rick Tocchet as a name to watch. He has a relationship with Rutherford from their days in Pittsburgh– they’ve won cups, so I’m keeping my eye on Tocchet.”

The 58 year-old has a career head coaching record of 178-200-60 with stints in Tampa Bay and Arizona. He was the Penguins assistant coach for back-to back Cups in 2016 and 2017.

Update: Canucks officially hire Rick Tocchet

Rick Tocchet has been hired as the 21st Head Coach in franchise history. Adam Foote has been named Assistant Coach and Sergei Gonchar has been hired as a Defensive Development Coach.

Vancouver Canucks