Will André Tourigny be lifting more hardware as head coach of the Arizona Coyotes? (EyesWideOpen/Getty Images)

André Tourigny Hired As New Head Coach Of Arizona Coyotes

Like the Seattle Kraken, the Arizona Coyotes went a bit outside the box to find their new head coach. Experienced coaches like Bruce Boudreau or Claude Julien were on the table, but the Coyotes dipped into the junior ranks and hired OHL Ottawa 67’s head coach André Tourigny to be their eighth head coach in franchise history. The team announced the move early Thursday afternoon.

Per the team’s press release: “Tourigny joins the Coyotes after spending time with Hockey Canada’s coaching staff as an assistant coach at the 2021 IIHF World Championship in Riga, Latvia. Tourigny was on a one-year loan to Hockey Canada from the Ottawa 67’s (OHL). He was the recipient of the Matt Leyden Trophy as OHL coach of the year in back-to-back seasons (2018-19 and 2019-20) as well as the Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award as CHL Coach of the Year (2019-20).

The 47-year-old Tourigny previously spent 11 seasons with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (2002-13) and one season with the Halifax Mooseheads (2016-17) of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). In his 11 years with Rouyn-Noranda, Tourigny’s team qualified for the playoffs in all but one season while he posted a 337-336-20 record in 693 regular-season games, which set a QMJHL record for most games coached with one franchise. In 2005-06, Tourigny received the QMJHL Ron Lapointe Coach of the Year Award.

The veteran coach also worked in the NHL including three seasons as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche (2013-15) and the Ottawa Senators (2015-16).”

Tourigny is an interesting choice here, as he had been flying somewhat under the radar. He will replace Rick Tocchet as the team’s head coach. Tocchet led the Coyotes to one playoff appearance in his four years in Arizona, and he too was a first-time NHL head coach with the Coyotes. It was a playoff appearance that probably would not have happened without the pandemic-caused playoff format, but it was a playoff appearance nonetheless. Tocchet was a well-respected and highly praised coach during his time in the desert, so Tourigny will have some decently-sized shoes to fill.

Read more about Tocchet’s dismal here.

I am no expert on Tourigny, but hiring someone with as much success as he has seems like a good idea. Succeeding in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) obviously is not the same as succeeding in the NHL. Tourigny obviously cannot fix an underwhelming Arizona roster; I would not bet on any coach leading the Coyotes back to the playoffs in 2021-22. The Coyotes have a few good players, but lots of holes on defense and they lack high-end forwards. Their goaltending has been strong in previous years, but it can only carry the team so far, and Arizona’s goaltending was actually rather pedestrian in 2021. Obviously, a big offseason could change that, but the Coyotes have not been involved in any big rumors.

The Coyotes have developed a losing culture over the last decade; that 2020 playoff trip is their only one since 2012. The front office and the coaching staff are the biggest factors in turning that around, and changes are necessary if the franchise hopes to find consistent success. Well, this is general manager Bill Armstrong’s first signature move and his first big swing at fixing the organization’s culture. Time will tell if it is a good one.

Check out Peri Goodman’s Store for custom stickers!

Follow Us on Twitter! Also check out the Vendetta Shop and our partnership with SimBull (learn more here)!