Coyotes name Andre Tourigny eighth head coach in franchise history

New Arizona Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny explains to the media how he wants his players to see his hiring as a fresh start.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Coyotes have hired veteran NHL assistant and junior coach Andre Tourigny as head coach.

Tourigny replaces Rick Tocchet, who was fired May 9 after the Coyotes failed to reach the playoffs for the seventh time in eight seasons.

The 47-year-old Tourigny has spent the past four seasons as coach and vice president of hockey operations for the Ottawa 67s in the junior Ontario Hockey League. He previously served as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators.

Earlier this month, Tourigny was an assistant coach to Gerrard Gallant on the Team Canada team that earned gold at the world championships.

He also led Team Canada to gold at the 2020 world junior championships and was slated to coach at the world juniors again later this year, but will now need to be replaced.

"First, we want to extend our congratulations to Andre who has an incredible opportunity to fulfill his goal of becoming a head coach in the NHL," Hockey Canada said in a statement Thursday. "Andre is driven to succeed and although we are disappointed to lose a head coach with his extensive hockey pedigree, he has made a significant impact on our national team program at every level."

Tourigny earned his second straight OHL coach of the year honors in 2020 after leading the 67s to the league's best record in consecutive seasons. He began his coaching career in 1998 at the junior major level, and became a head coach in 2003-04 with Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Tourigny takes over a team that could be headed toward more major changes. The Coyotes made the postseason for the first time since 2012 in last season's pandemic "bubble", but fell off last season.

Arizona held the fourth playoff spot heading into the final month of the 2020-21 season before losing 12 of 15 games to fall out of contention. The Coyotes have numerous unrestricted free agents, including goalie and Antti Raanta and defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson, and third-leading scorer Conor Garland is a restricted free agent.

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