GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – The Arizona Coyotes has announced veteran NHL and Team Canada assistant coach André Tourigny will be the next head coach for the team.
The Coyotes have signed Tourigny to a three-year contract with the club, and he will become the 19th head coach in Coyotes franchise history. He previously served as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-15 and the Ottawa Senators from 2015-16.
It's a great day in Arizona. Meet our new coach, André Tourigny. 👏https://t.co/mMIeRkCAo8— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) July 1, 2021
Tourigny joined the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) as head coach and Vice President of Hockey Operations in 2017. He led the team to a 130-52-16 record through three seasons. He also guided Hockey Canada’s junior team to a silver medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship as head coach in 2021.
At the presentation ceremony, Tourigny expressed his elation about the new position and says he is eager to get started. "I want the players to see it as a fresh start," said Tourigny. "I want them to arrive here with the philosophy of "improve myself." It's a new coach, new era, new culture. I want to prove myself."
General Manager Bill Armstrong added that Tourigny's impressive resumé and ability to connect with young players caught his eye in the hiring process. "He gets it because he's coached in junior hockey. He's been through junior hockey where he's worked with young kids. He's coached a little in the NHL too, so that was attractive as well."
Tourigny will be replacing Rick Tocchet, who served as head coach of the Coyotes since 2017. In four seasons with the Coyotes, Tocchet has failed to make the playoffs three times. The last season that the Coyotes made the playoffs was the 2019-20 season, when they lost in the first round to the Avalanche.
However, the Coyotes still have questions rising about their unrestricted free agents. Fan favorite Conor Garland is a free agent and is currently second on the team in scoring. Other unrestricted free agents include Derick Brassard, Alex Goligoski, Michael Bunting and more.
When asked about free agency questions, Armstrong stated the Coyotes will be vigilant in their search for players. "I think on my end, there's a lot of holes to fill, especially on the backside. We'll be looking to tap into free agency, looking to acquire some players that'll give us some identity."
The NHL is targeting October 12, 2021 as the start date of the season.