LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The National Hockey League announced that Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet will coach the Pacific Division team at the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game this month.
The announcement comes a day after the news that Vegas Golden Knights fired head coach Gerard Gallant. According to the NHL, Gallant had been named to coach in the All-Star Game because the Golden Knights had the highest point percentage among teams in the division after games on January 2.
Speaking to Arizona Sports Radio 98.7 FM’s show Doug & Wolf , Tocchet talked about the unexpected news of Gallant’s dismissal.
“I was shocked like everybody,” said Tocchet. “He’s a friend of mine. I think he’s a great coach. He did a great job in Florida, and he did a great job in Las Vegas. I just know for him, I just think he’s a great coach. So I feel bad for him.”
Tocchet also gave some perspective of the reasons behind the sudden removal of Gallant to the Arizona Sports Radio show, saying:
“I can’t speak for what happened. All I know is that relationships of the GM and the owner — how you’re going to play, what type of players you want, if you’re on the same page with the general manager and an owner, you’ve got a good shot of surviving, and I guess that’s what it comes down to, and obviously, results. Obviously, his results are pretty damn good. I’ve been there before and you just move on. You do your best and you move on.”Rick Tocchet,
Head Coach for the Arizona Coyotes speaking to Doug & Wolf on Arizona Sports Radio 98.7FM
The Coyotes hold the number one spot in the Pacific Division of the NHL standings, while the Las Vegas Golden Knights are in fifth place.