ARIZONA COYOTES

Coyotes GM hopeful for contract extension to coach Andre Tourigny

Jul 24, 2023, 1:52 PM | Updated: 1:58 pm

Arizona Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny talks to players. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)...

Arizona Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny talks to players. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Arizona Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong extended a public note of approval of head coach Andre Tourigny over the weekend, telling NHL.com the team is interested in signing the 49-year-old head coach to a new contract.

I think he’s done a great job and now I believe we’re going to be able to get an extension with him and move into the future, into Phase 2 with him. He’s certainly somebody that’s infused a tremendous amount of culture and belief in this organization,” Armstrong said.

Tourigny is entering the final season of a three-year contract after leading the team to a 53-90-21 mark through his first two seasons.

“One of the things that I love about him and the reason that we have the ability to re-sign him and move into Phase 2 with him is because he doesn’t leave a scar with the players. He has the players’ best interests at heart and he’s firm with the player,” Armstrong said.

For Armstrong, the Coyotes are moving on from Phase 1 of their rebuild to Phase 2, and the GM believes the team is headed in the right direction under the Quebec native.

“He’s done Phase 1 very well,” Armstrong said. “He has got the players to buy into what he’s doing. He’s got the players to buy into the culture and he’s got the players to buy in to compete every single night here in the desert.”

His ability to connect with his players helped max out Matias Maccelli in his rookie season as the winger finished fourth in the Calder Trophy voting for the NHL’s top rookie.

It also helped Clayton Keller, Lawson Crouse and Juuso Valimaki all record career highs in points last season.

Tourigny will lead the team beginning with two preseason games in Melbourne, Australia against the Los Angeles Kings in September and hockey remains the focus for Tourigny, despite working on the final year of his contract at the current moment.

“That doesn’t change anything,” Tourigny said. “The only way I can improve my situation is by doing what I have to do every day.”

The Coyotes have some new personnel to work with this season after acquiring Sean Durzi and Troy Stecher to bolster the defense. Armstrong was also able to add Jason Zucker, Nick Bjugstad and Alexander Kerfoot to bring a veteran presence to the forward group.

With youngsters like Dylan Guenther, Conor Geekie, Maveric Lamoureux and Josh Doan in the pipeline, the future looks bright for Tourigny, Armstrong and the Coyotes.

The Coyotes have also been linked to free agent Matt Dumba, who could add even more credibility to a bolstered and improving lineup.

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