Coyotes’ Andre Tourigny to stay in present in 1st year as NHL head coach
GLENDALE — Arizona Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny is getting his first crack at head coaching duties in the NHL this season, but he has served in a variety of head coaching roles at lower levels in the past.
Tourigny comes to the Coyotes after leading Team Canada to a Silver medal in the the 2021 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships and before that as OHL Coach of the Year with the Ottawa 67’s.
“I think I’m really demanding in terms of effort. As well, I have one set of rules. The other thing is I think I’m really positive,” Tourigny said at Coyotes media day on Wednesday.
Keeping that positivity is going to be key for a team that is undergoing major changes and will see about one-third of its lineup replaced with new faces.
While the Coyotes are not projected to have too much success this season, that will not stop Tourigny from trying.
“I have no clue how to coach to not win,” he said.
How will he win games? By implementing an aggressive style of play and keeping his team in the present.
“We will play with a lot of pace. We will play in-your-face hockey,” Tourigny said. “Everybody says they want to play fast, but we will say we want to play with a lot of pace and be tough to play against.”
Tourigny’s most notable NHL experience has been as a defensive coach with the Colorado Avalanche under Patrick Roy, and that’s where his system starts.
“It’s a system where we want to have a lot of layers without the puck,” he said.
“Everything we will do, it’s in order to posses the puck. We want to make plays and we want to have a purpose in our decisions,” he added.
As a head coach, his long-term outlook is slightly different than an owner or general manager. He wants his players to focus on the present, like him.
“When I look far, far, far, I see the practice tomorrow,” he said. “That’s how far I see.”
He is looking to erase any losing mentality that preexists, essentially starting from scratch with a new group.
He said it was important to control what he can control and pass that approach to his players.
Most importantly, he wants to be himself.
“I will not try to be Scotty Bowman or Mike Babcock — I’m not,” he said. “I am who I am and so far, so good.”
Tourigny believes his squad is filled with guys that have something to prove.
“We have a brotherhood, guys who are proud to play together, proud to play in AZ and want the best for the organization,” the coach said.