This week saw an interesting NHL coaching change, with the Vancouver Canucks (not “Can-nukes“) finally making the long-rumored decision to replace Bruce Boudreau with Rick Tocchet. Tocchet had been working as an analyst on The NHL on TNT for the past season and a half before this return to the bench. And that led to a notable musical sendoff for him from ex-TNT colleagues Paul Bissonette and Henrik Lundqvist Wednesday night, with those two combining for Green Day’s “Good Riddance” (“Time of Your Life”):
Biz and Hank have reunited for a special performance tribute to friend and new Canucks coach, Rick Tocchet ?? pic.twitter.com/rBj1U9FfGz
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) January 26, 2023
Bissonette‘s opening “This one goes out to my steam room buddy Rick Tocchet. I’m gonna miss that sweaty, disgusting body, my friend” is amazing. And this was a solid tribute overall, especially with the montage of memorable Tocchet moments, from cup checks to cross checks. It is funny, however, that this particular song was used; while it’s now a prom staple, and the band gets why it is, Billie Joe Armstrong actually wrote it out of anger at an ex-girlfriend. Here’s what Marc Spitz wrote on that in his 2006 book Nobody likes you : inside the turbulent life, times, and music of Green Day:
“His inability to impress or ensnare Amanda for long long wounded Billie Joe. She is the subject of “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” one of Green Day’s biggest hits and one of the most misinterpreted pop songs of the last two decades (a bitter kiss-off, heard by most as a sweet love song.)”
So, yeah, there are some potential negative connotations there. But they’re probably not meant (or at least not meant in a non-joking manner) in this case, given all the nice things Tocchet’s former NHL on TNT colleagues have said about him over the past season and a half. And this wound up being a sweet tribute, and one that got a great reaction from Tocchet. The show then went on to a full interview with him ahead of the Canucks’ game against the Seattle Kraken:
— NHLonTNT (@NHL_On_TNT) January 26, 2023
Tocchet has a lot of work to do in Vancouver, and the Canucks‘ 6-1 loss to the Kraken Wednesday (which led to him calling the team “soft” afterwards) illustrates that. But it will certainly be a new challenge for him. We’ll see how Tocchet does in this latest stint behind the bench, and how The NHL on TNT evolves without him. But they certainly gave him a fun sendoff.