Rick Tocchet of the Arizona Coyotes was named to replace Gerard Gallant as coach of the Pacific Division for the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Enterprise Center in St. Louis on Jan. 25.
Gallant was to coach the Pacific Division but was fired Wednesday by the Vegas Golden Knights. Gallant was named because the Golden Knights had the highest point percentage among teams in the division after games of Jan. 2.
The Coyotes (26-18-5) entered play Thursday first in the Pacific, two points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers.
"Yeah, it's a weird situation," Tocchet said. "[Gallant] going, he deserves to be on the bench, so it's a tough one, but it's good to represent the Coyotes. You know, [injured Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper] can't go, I think we need somebody there. I wish somebody had some skates that could play in it, but this is the next best thing. The organization has done a really good job. We're in the mix for first place, so I think it's good, but listen, I'm representing the players. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the players."
Tocchet joins Craig Berube of the St. Louis Blues (Central), Bruce Cassidy of the Boston Bruins (Atlantic) and Todd Reirden of the Washington Capitals (Metropolitan) as the All-Star Game coaches.
Tocchet, a forward who was a four-time All-Star Game participant as a player (1989, 1990, 1991, 1993), will coach his first All-Star Game. He is the second Coyotes coach to participate in an All-Star Game (Jim Schoenfeld, 1999).