Rick Tocchet announces how he'll help Vancouver Canucks avoid another train wreck start

How is he going to perform in his first full season behind the bench?



The Vancouver Canucks entered last season with reasonable expectations  given their immediate turnaround under new head coach Bruce Boudreau last season; he was hired after Travis Greene was terminated and found instant success with the Canucks, coaching them to a well-above .500 record that would have landed them in the postseason over a full 82 game campaign.

However, 2022-23 was anything but a success for Boudreau and the Canucks, who faced multiple on and off-ice issues combined with internal strife with the players and management. President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford announced that the team was in need of "major surgery", and one of the parts of the  operation was moving on from Boudreau in a very ugly and public manner that justifiably drew the wrath of fans and pundits. 

Taking Boudreau's spot behind the Canucks bench is Rick Tocchet, who had most recently coached the Arizona Coyotes. He managed to post a decent record after being named to the position, going 20-12-4. But despite that, Vancouver was already far too back in the standings to have any realistic chance at the playoffs.

So, how will Tocchet help Vancouver avoid last year's disastrous start? 

"We've got to create those habits and we've got to stay on top of each other," said Tocchet. "Coaches and players making each other accountable. The way we change, come off the ice, the way we practice. We don't have the greatest schedule, so we don't have a lot of practices compared to other teams. We can't waste practices.

"That's what I've got to relay to these young guys, especially. Have a purpose when we have practice, there's a reason why we're doing certain things. Just don't get by practice and just put time in, make sure you get something out of it."

He also said that accountability will be a huge portion of his coaching philosophy for this season.

"It starts (at the opening of training camp), that's really when it starts," said Tocchet. "We've got to keep each other all accountable on every rep we do."

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Source: Sportsnet