Rick Tocchet has a lot on the line with the Vancouver Canucks in 2024

Tocchet, the reigning Jack Adams Award winner, could be in an untenable position if the Canucks do not retain key free agents
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There has been so much talk about Jack Adams Award winner Coach Rick Tocchet's Vancouver Canucks this offseason. The issue is retaining key free agents to allow this team to continue to improve. There are 11 free agents in total, but arguably, Nikita Zadorov, Dakota Joshua, and Tyler Myers would be considered among the top priorities to re-sign by July 1.

The Canucks surprised many during the 2023-2024 season by winning the Pacific Division. Trading for Zadorov during the season paid dividends especially in the playoffs.

Canucks fans are worried about who will (and will not) be on the team in September, but is it possible that Coach Rick Tocchet could be more concerned than they are?

What is on the line for Rick Tocchet

Tocchet is entering the final year of his contract with the Canucks, and no extension discussions have reportedly taken place. When asked recently about his contract extension, Tocchet indicated that he was not worried about it.

One reason he would not worry about his contract is that he believes the team will be great in 2024. The best way for a coach to ensure his future with a team is to have the team perform at its absolute best. Tocchet has already taken care of elements that he can control. Assistant coach Mike Yeo is gone. The coaching staff will have new faces and those who were retained are given increased responsibilities.

dark. Next. Canucks fans issue social media pleas begging Zadorov to stay. Canucks fans issue social media pleas begging Zadorov to stay

This begs the question, can the team perform as well without the likes of Zadorov, Joshua, and Myers? The normally cool and collected Tocchet must be concerned behind the scenes that if those three players are lost to free agency, it will be difficult to replace their productivity and leadership skills.

It is agonizingly quiet in Vancouver less than two weeks before free agency. Is Tocchet working behind-the-scenes magic with the front office to get last minute offers to these free agents? We suspect he is because he could find himself on the hot seat in 2024 if this team does not build upon its success last season.