12 May 2009
I'm a little late with the news I know, but I've had a rough day yesterday with the Canucks' playoff dreams being crushed. But I'm back to life now...
So Tocchet is now named Head Coach Tocchet. The contract is said to be a 2 year deal worth $550 000. He took over as interim HC after Barry Melrose was fired and since then has the led the club to a record of 19-33-14.
"Now I'm on the clock," Tocchet said. "I'm ready to go. We have some great pieces on this team. I think we have a lot of players here that can do the job. I'm excited." -TSN
The Lightning waited this long after the season ended to announce this because they wanted this to highlight their Lightning Open House last night.
So is this a bad gamble? Well no not really. The deal is only a 2 year deal, not the 3 years that is normally offered to coaches. The salary is on the low end of the scale of average coaches salaries, but then again, he's never been a head coach before (only an assistant in Colorado and Phoenix) and his record is 19-33-14. He was the only interim coach this year that didn't improve the record of the team dramatically...like Dan Bylsma and the Penguins, or Quenneville of the Blackhawks, or Clouston of the Senators....should I go on? Actually if you want the numbers check out this post by Mirtle over at From the Rink. In addition, the Lightning still have 2 more coaches on their payroll since they had to pay 1.3 million to Tortorella for his TSN panel services and the Mullet Melrose cost the team about 2.25 million over 3 years (or did they withold the mullet's money?)
Tocchet still has a lot to prove, and this year will be his year. Unlike last year where there was no real training camp, just an 80's mullet camp of scrimmages and some play fightning. This year Tocchet has said he wants players to come to camp in top shape, he wants them to be ready. So with a team that will be in shape, and another high draft pick, we'll see how Tocchet's first year as HC will bring.