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Coyotes hire Rick Tocchet as head coach, Todd Nelson likely returns to Griffins

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Griffins celebrate 2017 Calder Cup Championship
Grand Rapids Griffins

It appears the Red Wings won’t lose Griffins head coach Todd Nelson, as the Arizona Coyotes have hired Rick Tocchet as their head coach, Darren Dreger reports.

The Red Wings granted the Coyotes permission to interview Todd Nelson for their coaching vacancy last month, and it appeared that Nelson was a front-runner for the job. The Coyotes took the former Stanley Cup Champion in Tocchet, as he’s played a key role with the Pittsburgh Penguins over the past few years.

This is obviously a big win for the Red Wings organization — Nelson has done wonders for the Griffins in his time here, and now he’ll get a full season of prospects like Vili Saarijarvi, Givani Smith, and Filip Hronek, among others. There’s no doubt that Nelson will likely draw interest next offseason for whatever coaching vacancies sprout around the NHL, but for now, he’ll work towards defending the Calder Cup title with the Griffins for another season.