The 2021-22 season is going to be a huge change for the Arizona Coyotes. It’s the first time in two seasons where they will be playing a full 82-game campaign. Not only that, but because of the newest expansion in the Seattle Kraken, the Coyotes have been ousted from the Pacific and into the Central Division.
With Rick Tocchet parting ways with the team back in May, the Coyotes were looking for a new coach that can lead them in an unfamiliar division. After a few months, Tocchet’s replacement has been revealed as André Tourigny, who’s been appointed as bench boss.
Despite never holding a head coach title in the NHL, Tourigny is decorated with thanks to many accomplishments. He has been a coach in two CHL member leagues, the OHL and QMJHL. He started with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, and during his tenure with the team, he had been voted as QMJHL Coach of the Year. He stayed on the team until he got his first pro chance with the Colorado Avalanche back in 2013.
He did two years with in Denver, Colorado and then joined the Ottawa Senators for one season before returning to the bench in major junior. He spent one year with the Halifax Mooseheads before heading back to Ottawa to become head coach of the OHL’s 67’s.
The 67’s became a dominant team under Tourigny’s direction. In 2018-19, they won 50 games out of a 68-game schedule. They swept every team in the playoffs before losing in the finals to the four-time league champion Guelph Storm.
Tourigny has also coached for Hockey Canada in IIHF competition. This year alone, he was head coach for the World Juniors, winning silver, and was named an assistant for the Men’s World Championship, securing a gold medal in Riga, Latvia.
As its his first season as an NHL bench boss, anticipation mounts for what will be produced on the ice. Knowing what Tourigny is capable of, Coyotes fans can be cautiously optimistic that this team is changing for the better.