Tocchet would trade one of his Penguins rings to win with Flyers


The Flyers renewed acquaintances with the Penguins Tuesday night with an unprecedented (I’m tired of seeing this word, too) three-game regular-season series in Pittsburgh. It’s one of the fiercest rivalries in the game today, and not many know that as much as current Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet.

Tocchet was drafted by the Flyers in 1983 and played his first seven full seasons with the orange and black, before being traded to the Penguins in 1992. He won a Stanley Cup the following season in Pittsburgh and won two more as a Penguins assistant coach in 2016 and 2017.

Tocchet was a guest on Flyers Pregame Live Tuesday, and despite being one of the most beloved players in Flyers history, he caught his share of hatred from Flyers fans for crossing allegiances. And he knows his old teammate, former Flyers goalie and general manager Ron Hextall, will deal with similar vitriol. Hextall was hired in February to be the GM of the Penguins.

“That’s a big rivalry,” Tocchet said. “I remember at the [2014] draft [in Philadelphia] I got booed [by Flyers fans]. ... They don’t care, they hate the Penguins. Hexy’s gonna get booed, he’ll probably love it. It’s just a fabulous rivalry, I love it.”

Tocchet understands the passion of the fans and he played with the same fire and passion. The Flyers’ all-time leader in penalty minutes has tasted victory with the team’s bitter rival three times, but he wishes one of those championship parades was one down Broad Street.

“I won three Cups [with Pittsburgh] ... to trade one Cup with the Flyers, I can’t imagine winning a Cup with the Flyers," Tocchet said. "In Pittsburgh, it was unbelievable, I can’t describe it. I could say the same thing about Philadelphia. I can’t imagine what the crowd would be like. The Flyers fans want to win one so bad. ... It would be an incredible sight to see the Flyers win the Stanley Cup.”

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