We’ll always have a soft spot for Rick Tocchet in the Burgh, despite the fact that he only came to the team at the trading deadline of the second Cup win and the fact that he’s made some pretty questionable decisions.
Tocchet, as you’ll remember, pleaded guilty to conspiring and promoting an underground gambling ring. Bad choice.
Prior to that, he was on Wayne Gretzky’s staff on a terrible Phoenix Coyotes team. Bad choice.
While he was waiting on sentencing for his guilty plea for gambling, he appeared at the World Series of Poker. Not smart for a guy with illegal gambling problems. Another bad choice.
After the NHL re-instated him in February 2008, he joined Barry Melrose’s staff in Tampa Bay. The same Tampa Bay that is now owned by Hollywood producers who bought up any free agent regardless of team chemistry. They also hired Melrose, who had spent like 75 years at ESPN because no NHL team would hire him. Melrose was fired, and now Tocchet is the Interim Coach of the worst team in the NHL. Bad choice? Like I had to even tell you.
But was Tocchet always prone to bad decisions? Like, in his playing days…was he a smart guy? This video shows that Tocchet’s history of bad decisions did not start after his playing career was over.
That’s Tocchet, broken jaw and all, deciding to fight Kevin Hatcher in the ’92 playoffs. You can guess how Tocchet did.