Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: rick tocchet
from John Mehno at the Times Online,
Tocchet's inclusion on the staff was apparently mandated by ownership, part of the organization's stated goal to increase its level of grit after five years of playoff disappointment. Tocchet's hiring appeared to be non-negotiable, and it reportedly became a deal breaker for at least one potential coaching candidate.///
But it's an awkward fit, especially with a rookie head coach who doesn't have the name or NHL history that Tocchet does. Tocchet is close to Mario Lemieux. He watched playoff games from the owner's box this spring. Isn't it disconcerting to know your assistant plays golf with your boss?
What if the players take Tocchet's message more than Johnston's? Pascal Dupuis did an interview on 93.7 The Fan and said his reaction to the hiring was to do a Google search on Johnston. He'd obviously never heard of him. There isn't a player in the locker room who doesn't know who Tocchet is.
What happens if the players look past Johnston to hear what Tocchet has to say? If Tocchet becomes their go-to guy, doesn't Johnston then become an empty suit, a head coach in name only? The situation has the potential to be uncomfortable.
“It’s on the leaders. They have to understand we have to play a certain way. ... We’re playing the Washington Capitals. You can’t be out there 45 seconds and throw the puck blind in front. we’re trying plays that are not there. Zero-zero hockey game, there’s no excuse to do stupid things 22 minutes into a game. So, how should they take it? Honestly, I don’t care. We have enough guys playing the right way.”
-Lightning Coach Rick Tocchet on why he benched players during last night’s game against the Capitals. More from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
...But it wasn’t so much the loss that bugged the coach as Tampa Bay’s inability to generate outrage at a Senators team Tocchet said was challenging the Lightning physically.
“I’m just from the old school. When you get pushed around, you have to push back,” Tocchet said. “We’re accepting when guys on the other team are agitating and making a push. We need guys to push back. I’m not talking about dropping the gloves, just playing good, clean, tough hockey. Be abrasive. We need abrasive players on this team. We need guys lively on the bench, not just sitting there.”
It was all very evened and measured. But Tocchet showed his anger when he argued with referee Brian Pochmara late in the game after Lightning forward Ryan Craig was given two minutes for cross-checking Ottawa agitator Jarkko Ruutu across the chest and breaking his stick in the process. Ruutu got nothing despite going to his knees to avoid Craig’s check and sliding into Craig’s knees, both of which had surgeries.
“I just thought it was not professional,” Tocchet said. “I have a suit on, I can’t do anything about it. I wish I didn’t have a suit on.”
Sources tell TSN the Tampa Bay Lightning are close to signing head coach Rick Tocchet to a three-year contract extension.
Tabbed interim head coach since taking over for the fired Barry Melrose on November 14, this would mark Tocchet’s first full-time head coaching job.
from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,
Meet the man out to stop the bleeding on Channelside Drive.
Barry Melrose is gone. Was he ever here? We’re still not sure about the new owners. But Lightning players, even if they haven’t turned it into wins, can feel a change. The circus has left down.
“It’s feels gone,” Lightning winger Mark Recchi said.
“The dust has started to settle,” Marty St. Louis said.
They feel they’re moving in one direction, just like Rick Tocchet once did as he charged the net or threw his fists.
“He’s a straight-up guy, the same guy he was on the ice,” said Recchi, who was once traded for Tocchet and later played with him. “He helped stabilize things. We’re well prepared. We know where we stand. There’s no gray area.”
“We’re finding our way,” Tocchet said.
“Ovechkin just doesn’t sit on the outside and take one-timers, he’s in front of the net, he goes behind. He does a lot of wraps. He’s a special player because he’s an aggressive player. That’s why I think he’s the best player, because he’s an aggressive player. He’s not just a pure sniper who sits on the outside all day.”
-Lightning coach Rick Tocchet on Alexander Ovechkin. More from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes as the Bolts prepare for the Capitals tonight.
from Lightning Strikes,
Lightning coach Rick Tocchet met with captain Vinny Lecavalier for about an hour after Tuesday’s practice at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Tocchet did not get into specifics about what they spoke, but said the meting was a good one. Broadly, the coach said the discussion was about how the locker room can better police itself, especially after Saturday’s dreadful 2-0 loss to the Senators in Ottawa.
“He cares. He’s a great kid,” Tocchet said. “He’s learning what it takes. It’s not only about him playing. It’s about what his team should be all about.”
Tocchet talked about cleaning up some sloppiness in how the Lightning is conducting itself on and off the ice.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
Tocchet was so upset with Melrose’s characterization, he felt like he had to sound off.
On Melrose continuing to bash the Lightning: “Yeah, I’m disappointed. I’m not a fan of people who go to the mike all the time to air their dirty laundry. You have a problem, it should have been done before.”
On Melrose saying Tocchet is being directed by ownership: “I take it personally, to be honest with you. I’m not a puppet. Ownership doesn’t tell me who to play. They are very supportive of me. I have a great coaching staff that helps me make decisions. Like I said, this is our training camp now. We’re starting to put a system in place, which I think we’re getting better at. We now have a system….”
In case you missed the earlier comments from Melrose this morning, start here.
from the CP via TSN,
Interim coach Rick Tocchet had players breathing hard during his first practice Saturday, looking to install high-tempo play for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tocchet’s coaching style will include lessons learned from the coaches he played and worked for, such as Scotty Bowman, Mike Keenan, Wayne Gretzky and Jim Schoenfeld. It also will reflect his own hard-nose playing days.
‘‘Paul Coffey left me a message. ‘Make sure you do what you believe in. Don’t compromise,’‘’ Tocchet said. ‘‘I’m pretty easy-going guy, a fair guy, but I believe in a certain way to play.’‘
via Lightning Strikes,
The Lightning today fired coach Barry Melrose and named Rick Tocchet the head coach.
Update 4:37pm ET (Alanah): From Bolts Report—
Tampa Bay Lightning Head Coach Barry Melrose has been relieved of his duties and Associate Coach Rick Tocchet has been elevated to interim head coach, Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton announced today. Melrose, 52, was named the sixth head coach in Lightning history on June 24, and compiled a 5-7-4 record this season.
“This was a tough decision to make,” Lawton said. “Barry is a good man and we have a great deal of respect for him. We wish him nothing but success. However, the results were unacceptable and the players have to understand that we need to be better. Hopefully this change helps push them.
“As for Rick Tocchet, we think this is a great opportunity for him and we believe he’s the type of coach who can take the team to the next level. Our players have a great deal of respect for him.”
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
Flyers assistant coach Craig Berube, a former teammate of Tocchet, believes the NHL’s two-year ban on Tocchet was too harsh.
“He got run through the ringer for no reason, and that puts a bad taste in your mouth,” Berube said Friday. “To me, that was worse than anything. He didn’t do anything wrong, and his picture’s all over the paper. He’s a good guy with a good reputation. The guys who know him know that, and that’s what matters.”...
Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher said he’s happy to see Tocchet back in the NHL, saying gambling among NHL players is commonplace.
“I’ve bet on Super Bowls and I played football pools in the dressing room,” Hatcher said. “So what? He never bet on hockey, and that’s the important thing. I’ve always respected him, and personally, I’m glad he’s back.”
From Jim Gintonio at the Arizona Republic,
Coyotes assistant Rick Tocchet has decided not to return to the team, an NHL source has confirmed.
Tocchet is expected to join the staff of new Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Barry Melrose, whose appointment is expected to be announced at a news conference on Tuesday.
From Bob McManaman at The Arizona Republic,
Rick Tocchet is calling himself an unlucky rabbit’s foot, noting that the Coyotes are 0-3 since his return behind the bench after a two-year suspension for his involvement in a gambling investigation.
Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky went golfing with Tocchet on Tuesday and said their golfing buddies are calling Tocchet something even worse.
“Schleprock. Bad Luck Schleprock,” Gretzky said, referring to a character in the Flintstones cartoon series.
But Gretzky is as thankful as anyone that Tocchet is back and serving on the Coyotes’ coaching staff again. Tocchet is not only an extra set of eyes in practices and games, but his personality helps the team.
The NHL Network across the U.S. and Canada will be simulcasting the press conference covered by FSN Arizona at 3:00pm ET today.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
And so, the prodigal will return, starting with Thursday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Tocchet, like Gretzky, is an NHL lifer, which suggests that his two years away from the game must have been difficult for him.
“It killed him,” agreed Gretzky. “You go through various stages — being disappointed, being embarrassed. But for him, now, his mom and dad are older people and they’ve been through a lot. It was tough on everybody — for him and his family, but you know what? He’s come through it. He’s grateful to the league for giving him a second chance. He’s grateful for how the league handled the investigation. There’s no animosity. He’s just looking to move forward.”
From Jim Gintonio from AZ Central,
I’ve learned that Bettman is on his way to Denver, and with the Coyotes in town to play the Avalanche, there seems to be little doubt that he will meet with Coyotes officials.
Tocchet will be back behind the bench Thursday when the Coyotes return home after a five-game road trip, and fans likely will see an even more energetic Coyotes team take the ice.
From Jim Gintonio at The Arizona Republic,
When assistant coach Rick Tocchet returns from his two-year absence Feb. 7, he won’t be arriving cold. He has been watching the home games from the stands.
“It’ll be a nice addition,” Gretzky said. “Ulfie (Samuelsson) and Grant (Fuhr) have put in a lot of extra hours. It will be nice to have him come back. I know the players are happy to have him coming back.”
*The conditions the NHL outlined for Tocchet’s return back in November can be found here.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
Embattled Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach and former Flyer Rick Tocchet is expected to have his 20-month suspension lifted by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman at a 1 p.m. news conference today in New York.
This would allow Tocchet to return to his role as assistant coach of the Coyotes.
Update 1:37pm ET: (by Alanah)
On the NHL’s teleconference today, Attorney Robert J. Cleary discussed the depth of his investigation of Rick Tocchet. He explained his findings (being released in a written report today) are consistent with the findings of the NJ Attorney General’s office, stating, “We found no evidence of betting on hockey by any NHL player or personnel.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman then formally announced that Tocchet will not be eligible to work again within the NHL until at least February 7, 2008—that would be a 2 year total suspension. His reinstatement requires he is (1) not involved in gambling—legal or illegal—at any time; and (2) that he is treated for gambling addiction.
Bettman stated he reserves the right to revisit the issue of Tocchet’s reinstatement in February if he feels he hasn’t complied with these conditions.
*time of post originally 12:20pmET
From Bob McKenzie at TSN,
Rick Tocchet’s status as a coach of the Phoenix Coyotes is expected to be clarified this week by the NHL.
In fact, sources tell TSN that Tocchet, accompanied by Coyotes’ general manager Don Maloney, is in New York City today to meet with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
Updated 4:25pm ET:
The CP confirms with sources that Bettman and Tocchet did indeed meet today. No information beyond that for now.
From Scott Morrison at CBC,
Rick Tocchet could have his status with the NHL determined by the end of this week.
According to sources, the long-awaited Cleary Report, an internal investigation into Tocchet’s involvement in a gambling ring, is expected to be delivered to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman this week. Once Bettman digests the report, authored by lawyer Robert Cleary, he will conduct a meeting with Tocchet and determine whether he will be allowed to return as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Coyotes any time soon.
From Jim Gintonio at The Arizona Republic,
The waiting game the NHL is playing with the Coyotes and Rick Tocchet has turned into a joke. What gives?
He was charged in February 2006, admitted he was involved in an illegal gambling operation and two months ago was sentenced to two years of probation. No mob ties, no fixing games, no jail time, no betting on hockey.
Yet the NHL has decided to put Tocchet in limbo, to this day not having a timetable on when it will make a decision on his future in the sport. There is no reason for the delay. The league and its counsel, Robert Cleary, have had ample time to rule.
And there is absolutely no reason why Tocchet should not be allowed to return to the Coyotes bench as an assistant coach.
continued… (*editorial compares Tochet’s crime to that of other NHLers who’ve been allowed back into the league.)
*hat tip to David for the link
from the blog of Bob McKenzie at TSN,
The first thing that needs to be said about the Mark Bell suspension is this: if you are an NHL player and you get convicted of a significant crime, you are going to get further punishment from the league.
Now, in the light of the fact Bell got 15 games, you can debate whether it’s too light or too heavy, but the real issue is that he was suspended.
Rick Tocchet, take note.