Rick Tocchet needed to be calmed down on a street corner at 2 AM after his second game as Canucks coach

Photo credit:© Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
9 months ago
It wasn’t just Vancouver Canucks fans that couldn’t believe how bad the team was last year.
On Friday, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli dropped his Vancouver Canucks season preview on the Frankly Speaking Podcast. In it, he spoke with defenceman Ian Cole, head coach Rick Tocchet, and goaltender Thatcher Demko.
During the chat with Tocchet, the Canucks’ bench boss told a story of how he needed to be calmed down on a Seattle street corner at 2 AM by the rest of the Canucks’ coaching staff. That game, which the Canucks lost 6-1, was just Tocchet’s second behind the Canucks’ bench, and is the game in which he infamously called his team soft.
“You hate to call your team soft, but it was soft tonight,” Tocchet said at the time. “We didn’t participate on the wall battles. We didn’t get a rim out. We didn’t play predictable. Like, old habits came. We’re just talking to the coaching staff and, man, I wish I had about 10 practices. I really do, because it shows tonight that we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
On Friday’s episode of Frankly Speaking, Tocchet detailed further how his frustrations from that game didn’t stay at the rink when discussing his coaching staff.
“I think what I love about Footy, and the twins, and Gonchar and those type of guys, is they’re outstanding players, but they’re humble. They’re teachers. They don’t come in with name tags that say ‘hey, I’m a Hall of Famer, or I won two Stanley Cups.’ They come in with knowledge, and they’re humble, and I think the players see that. They want to teach. It’s not about any kind of status with them, they just want to teach, like that’s why I brought them in. Adam Foote. He loves his defence and he wants to teach them stuff.
“Sergei Gonchar, I remember last year we played Seattle in my second game, I think we lost 6-1 and I was like ‘Oh my God’ and I was pissed. And after the game, they pulled me aside outside the bus that dropped us off at two in the morning and we were on a street corner in Vancouver, and they were like ‘hey Rick, we just got here, relax. We gotta chip away,’ and that talk really calmed me down. I think that helped my demeanour the next day in practice, and I think it helped the team. There was a lot of emotions going on in that team when I took over and obviously they hit the wall in the second game, so I think that’s where I really rely on those guys. They know when it’s time to go and when it’s time not to go. I think that really helps.
Tocchet was hired in late January as Bruce Boudreau’s replacement as head coach and is now heading into his first season as the main man behind the bench.
To listen to the full interview on Frankly Speaking with Demko, Cole, and Tocchet, click here!

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