Rick Tocchet didn’t do much to dispel the rumours that he will be taking over as the next head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.
On tonight’s NHL on TNT panel, Tocchet was joined by co-panelists Keith Yandle, Anson Carter, and Liam McHugh, and immediately, the jokes about Tocchet’s situation started flowing:
Rick Tocchet on the Canucks coaching job pic.twitter.com/P8NBkLWNLL
— Mike Martignago (@MikeMartignago) January 19, 2023
As McHugh introduces his co-analysts, he pauses before saying Tocchet’s name, takes off his glasses, suggesting he can’t believe his eyes that Tocchet is on the panel.
“Why you looking at me?” Tocchet said with a laugh. “Where’s Vince? That should be the speculation.”
“Interviewing,” McHugh responds, followed by Carter quipping “speaking of interviewing,” as soon as Tocchet begins to respond.
“Listen, I haven’t signed any contract,” Tocchet said. “I’ve known Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin for a lot of years, and I’ve talked to them, but I’ve talked to them for years about everything. But I’m here!”
This clip, and the quote of “I haven’t signed anything,” has the same energy as Jim Rutherford saying “Bruce is our coach now,” on Monday.
Speculation picked up heavily over the weekend that Tocchet would be the next head coach of the Canucks, and when asked about Tocchet by name during Monday’s press conference, Rutherford didn’t deny that the Canucks had spoken to Tocchet. Instead, he said that they have talked to many people but that right now, Bruce is the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. And hey, he’s not wrong.
It’s believed that Tocchet’s contract with TNT requires that he gives four-weeks’ notice before leaving his spot on the panel, and some believe that he could be behind the Canucks’ bench as soon as next week.
Due to the All-Star break, the Canucks won’t play until February 6th after their home matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets on January 27th. That’s over a full week without games, and many believe that Tocchet will be the man behind the bench when the Canucks welcome the New Jersey Devils on the 6th.