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Maple Leafs name Horachek, Spott assistant coaches

Friday, 07.11.2014 / 9:53 PM / News


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Maple Leafs name Horachek, Spott assistant coaches
The Toronto Maple Leafs have named Peter Horachek and Steve Spott assistant coaches

The Toronto Maple Leafs hired Peter Horachek and Steve Spott as assistant coaches on the staff of Randy Carlyle, the team announced Friday.

"It was important to us that the guys we brought in were head coaches," general manager Dave Nonis told the Maple Leafs website. "These guys have both been head coaches, they've both had success, and we felt that was a big factor in the type of person we were looking to bring in. ...

"I'm not the big culture change kind of a guy," Nonis added. "I think you can't flip a switch with two coaches and say that everything's going to be different. I think people bring things to the table that either help you achieve success or don't. And these guys, they've shown in the past they can do that."

Horachek, 54, served as interim coach of the Florida Panthers last season after Kevin Dineen was fired Nov. 8, 2013. In 66 games under Horachek, the Panthers went 26-36-4.

The Stoney Creek, Ontario, native served as coach of the San Antonio Rampage in the American Hockey League at the beginning of last season. Horachek spent nine seasons as an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators (2003-2013) and was associate coach the past two seasons.

"We want to get people on board to get back where we want to be," Horachek told the Toronto Sun. "We underachieved last year and that's no longer acceptable. Everyone must be disappointed when you don't make the playoffs (but) I see a lot of talented players."

Horachek also served as coach of the Milwaukee Admirals (2002-03) in the AHL, in the ECHL with the Trenton Titans (2001-02) and in the International Hockey League with the Orlando Solar Bears (1999-2001), where he led the Bears to the 2001 Turner Cup.

"He's a firm guy," Nonis said of Horachek. "I think he's kind of a no-nonsense coach, but he's very well-groomed. He's got a player's background, and again a very long and I think impressive coaching background."

Spott, 46, was coach of the Toronto Marlies of the AHL last season. The Marlies went 45-25-6 and reached the Western Conference Final.

"I've got a relationship with the guys that are going to push for jobs here this year," Spott said. "And hopefully that'll help Randy at the same time, where he'll be able to tap into myself as a resource for the type of person that we could be looking at. Hopefully that'll be advantageous to the organization."

Spott spent 12 seasons with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. The Toronto native was an assistant coach and won a Memorial Cup in 2003, and he was named Kitchener's coach prior to the 2008-09 season. In five seasons he was 187-121-32.

"We're going to hopefully have a pipeline from the Marlies to the [Maple] Leafs that is continuous," Nonis said. "With [Spott] knowing some of the players, I think that's going to be very helpful, for us, in transitioning players from the Marlies to the [Maple] Leafs."

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres