DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland announced today that the team has hired John Torchetti as an assistant coach.
Torchetti served as the interim head coach of the Minnesota Wild for the second half of the 2015-16 season, helping a team that had lost 13 of 14 games prior to his hire on Feb. 13 finish the season with a 15-11-1 record. The Wild qualified for the playoffs but fell to the regular-season conference champion Dallas Stars in six games during the first round of the playoffs. Torchetti has served as a head coach in the NHL on three occasions, each time on an interim basis, collecting a 30-30-4-2 record with the Wild, Los Angeles Kings (5-7-0 in 2005-06) and Florida Panthers (10-12-4-1 in 2003-04). Prior to his stint with Minnesota, the Boston native was in his second season with the Iowa Wild and his fourth season as head coach of Minnesota’s American Hockey League affiliate, having also led the Houston Aeros from 2011-13. He compiled a 113-129-36 record and led Houston to the playoffs in each of his two seasons.
The 51-year-old has also served as an assistant coach in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning (1999-01), Panthers (2002-04), Kings (2005-06), Chicago Blackhawks (2008-10) and Atlanta Thrashers (2010-11). He was a member of the 2010 Stanley Cup-champion Blackhawks and also helped Chicago reach the Western Conference Final in 2009. Torchetti spent the 2013-14 campaign as head coach of CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League, guiding the team to a 32-20-2 finish.
Torchetti has coached in the professional ranks since 1993-94, breaking in as an assistant coach of the ECHL’s Greensboro Monarchs from 1993-95. He has also served as head coach of the CHL’s San Antonio Iguanas (1994-96), the IHL’s Fort Wayne Komets (1996-98), the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage (2002-03) and the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats (2006-07). Torchetti also spent one season in Detroit, acting as general manager for the IHL’s Detroit Vipers in 1998-99. As a head coach, Torchetti has a career record of 384-325-22-64 and was the CHL’s Coach of the Year in 1995 and the IHL’s Coach of the Year in 1998.
As a player, Torchetti saw time in the AHL and ECHL as well as the Atlantic Coast Hockey League and All-American Hockey League. He totaled 532 points (258-274-532) in 359 professional games over seven seasons from 1984-91. He primarily played with the Carolina Thunderbirds (1984-89) in the ACHL, AAHL and ECHL but also skated for the ACHL’s Virginia Lancers (1986-87), the AHL’s Binghamton Whalers (1988-89) and ECHL’s Winston-Salem Thunderbirds (1989-91). He won an ECHL Riley Cup championship with Carolina in 1989.