ARIZONA COYOTES

Andre Tourigny ready for Arizona Coyotes to take next step

Aug 23, 2023, 7:55 PM

Head coach André Tourigny of the Arizona Coyotes looks on against the Chicago Blackhawks during th...

Head coach André Tourigny of the Arizona Coyotes looks on against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at United Center on February 10, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes will take the next step in their rebuild this upcoming season, and as any sports fan knows, that is a whole lot easier to do with a foundation in place. More directly speaking, keeping the same leadership in place.

All signs are positive on that end for the Coyotes, who extended head coach Andre Tourigny on Wednesday for three years, and the extension was made by general manager Bill Armstrong. Armstrong joined the Coyotes in the 2020 offseason, and one year later, hired Tourigny.

With Tourigny two years in, Arizona’s point total last season jumped from 57 to 70, showing improvement as the very beginning of Armstrong’s process got underway in terms of how the young talent he helped accumulate was making its way on the ice. A roster blowup over the last three years of nearly every valuable short and long-term piece getting sent out occurred, and since then, the Coyotes accumulated a ton of draft picks to prioritize the future a few years out.

Now, it’s about what Tourigny can do with a roster that has already started to see some of those pieces arrive, and has a few more coming soon.

Tourigny joined Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke and chuckled along with the co-hosts when asked if this type of reward would change how he operates.

“There’s no way I will change,” Tourigny said Wednesday. “Throughout the years you see that, you see guys who get through some point and now they think we can change. … If you change, there’s no reason for you to stay there. I’m not planning to change at all.”

The Coyotes, however, did change, and should be a much more competitive hockey team next season because of it.

Arizona spent this offseason adding veterans that will be significant contributors, with a precedent for positively affecting winning, something the Coyotes focused more on in Year 3 of the plan under Tourigny than in the previous two seasons. Tourigny said Armstrong informed him at the time of his hiring that it was the plan, and it has been executed.

“It’s exactly what he did,” Tourigny said. “He stuck to the plan, he has a vision and he’s doing a really good job at it.”

Part of the appeal in Tourigny’s tenure so far has been his ability to develop young talent, and he will be doing plenty more of that in the next few years. He spoke on his philosophy with high-end prospects coming in, such as top-3 pick Logan Cooley.

“Same thing for everybody in life — even if you’re a superstar, you need to earn it,” Tourigny said.”There’s no such thing as an easy ride. It’s just not happening. Even if you’re the most talented player, if you go for the easy ride, there’s other good players in the world and you will get your butt kicked.”

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