Photo credit:Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet to attend 2024 NHL All-Star Game
By Mike Gould1 month ago
Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet will be one of four coaches to attend the 2024 NHL All-Star Game in Toronto next month.
Tocchet, 59, has helmed the Canucks to the best record in the Pacific Division through the first half of the 2023-24 regular season. The Canucks currently sit in second place in the Western Conference with a 28-11-3 record, 59 points, and a league-best +54 goal differential through 42 games.
As Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman pointed out on Friday morning, the coaches of the four teams atop their respective divisions by points percentage at the midway mark of the season will take part in the weekend festivities in Toronto from February 1 to 3.
Alongside Tocchet, Winnipeg Jets head coach Rick Bowness and New York Rangers bench boss Peter Laviolette have already mathematically clinched berths at All-Star weekend. The fourth will be either Boston’s Jim Montgomery or Florida’s Paul Maurice, with whichever team leading the Atlantic Division after Saturday’s games slated to send their head coach to Toronto.
Canucks captain Quinn Hughes is already confirmed to be attending the All-Star Game in Toronto next month. The 24-year-old defenceman is one of the league leaders in points this season with 51 (11 goals, 40 assists) in 42 games; he’s also expected to be named a Norris Trophy finalist this spring.
But the Canucks’ representation could extend well beyond just Tocchet and Hughes. According to NHL All-Star fan vote data published earlier this week, the Canucks could also send forwards Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller, and Brock Boeser, as well as goaltender Thatcher Demko, to the All-Star Game.
All this just further reflects the change in fortunes the Canucks have experienced on a broader scale this season. Vancouver has only reached the playoffs once since 2015, and that was in the COVID-impacted 2019-20 season. This year, they’re on track to finish as one of the top seeds in the Western Conference — and the entire National Hockey League.
Tocchet and the Canucks will return to game action on Saturday afternoon when they take on the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center in Buffalo at 1:00 p.m. PT.
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