One of the worst-kept secrets in the NHL became official Thursday, July 8, 2010 when the Atlanta Thrashers hired John Torchetti away from the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks to be their associate head coach.
Torchetti has a long-time working relationship with Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley -- Dudley has hired Torchetti two other times in his career and also was involved in getting Torchetti hired by the Blackhawks as an assistant coach there when Dudley served in Chicago's front office. Torchetti also has worked with Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay, as the two were assistants together in Tampa Bay.
Torchetti brings over 13 seasons of professional coaching experience with him to the Thrashers staff. His coaching resume includes time in the East Coast Hockey League, Central Hockey League, International Hockey League, the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League. Torchetti has twice been named Coach of the Year - first with the Central Hockey League's San Antonio Iguanas in 1994-95, then with the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League in 1997-98.
Prior to joining the Thrashers coaching staff, Torchetti served as an assistant coach on the 2010 Stanley Cup champion staff of Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. He was also head coach of the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the 2006-07 season. His Wildcats posted a record of 39-25-4 for 84 points in 70 games, fourth place overall in the QMJHL. In seven playoff games the Wildcats posted a 3-4 record.
Torchetti's coaching resume includes work on the coaching staff of four NHL teams prior to joining the Thrashers' staff (Tampa Bay 1999-00 to 2000-01, Florida 2002-03 to 2003-04, Los Angeles 2005-06 and Chicago 2007 to 2009-10). While a member of the Florida Panthers coaching staff as an assistant, he was asked to serve as Interim Head Coach at the conclusion of the 2003-04 season posting a record of 10-12-4-1 in 27 games behind the bench. He was also brought in with 12 games left in the 2005-06 to serve as Interim Head Coach of the Los Angeles Kings posting a record of 5-7-0.
Although he never played in the NHL, Torchetti's playing career spans eight seasons as a left winger in professional hockey in the Atlantic Coast League, East Coast League and American Hockey League. Throughout his eight-year playing career, he enjoyed seven appearances in the finals while winning four championships.
Torchetti also spent time as an Assistant General Manager of the San Antonio Dragons of the IHL during the 1996-97 season and General Manager of the Detroit Vipers of the IHL during the 1998-99 season. His Vipers posted a 50-12-11 mark and won an Eastern Conference Championship.