Rick Tocchet was hired by the Arizona Coyotes earlier this month to turn around a club that's missed the playoffs in five consecutive seasons - a process that's obviously easier said than done.
It's a fact that Tocchet is already trying to relay to his young group of players. "I just tell them to slow down," he said, according to Sarah McLellan of azcentral.com.
"It’s a process, inch by inch by day. This isn’t an overnight thing, so I think you gotta enjoy the process. It’s gonna hurt. Most of my text messages to most guys are, ‘Winning hurts. It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna be tough. It’s gonna hurt. But at the end of the day, there’s no better feeling.’ So that’s kind of my motto I try to preach to these kids."
Tocchet's 18 NHL seasons spent as a player could certainly serve him well in his new role as a head coach, especially behind a Coyotes bench that features one of the least experienced lineups in the league.
"There's a partnership in today's game with the player," Tocchet said.
"Obviously, I’m not going to be out partying with the players - don’t get me wrong. But there’s gotta be a relationship with the player, and you’ll get respect back if you give them respect."
He may not be out crushing pints with his new team, but one thing's for sure - Tocchet wants his club to be one of the fastest, most hard-working teams in the league.
"I told them it’s imperative that they come into camp in great shape because the style we’re going to play, you’re going to have to be able to skate and gotta be relentless and you’re going to have to be on top of the puck," he said.
"So that’s going to take work."
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