Iowa Wild, the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Minnesota Wild, announced it has named John Torchetti as the second head coach in team history. The Wild also announced that Kurt Kleinendorst has been relieved of his head coaching duties.
"Over the last few weeks, it became clearly evident that the team was not playing up to our expectations. We believe and Kurt agreed, that a change was necessary to get the team moving in the right direction. I would like to thank Kurt for the hard work he provided over the last year and a half, and wish him the best in the future," Iowa Wild General Manager Jim Mill said.
“John Torchetti is a Stanley Cup Champion and has achieved success at every level. We look forward to him putting his stamp on our team and getting us in position for the Calder Cup Playoffs."
Torchetti spent the 2013-14 season coaching in the KHL for CSKA Moscow, where he compiled a record 32-20-0-2, exiting in the first round of the playoffs. Torchetti guided the Minnesota Wild’s AHL affiliate in Houston from 2012-14, making it to the playoffs both seasons and falling in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. For his coaching career, Torchetti is 105-74-28 (.548) in 217 games behind an AHL bench. Overall, he is 629-526-93 (.541).
The native of Boston, Mass., holds 30 years of professional hockey experience as a player, coach and manager. His NHL coaching resume includes stops in Tampa Bay (1999-2001), Florida (2002-04), Los Angeles (2005-06), Chicago (2007-10) and Atlanta (2010-11).
Prior to joining the Thrashers, Torchetti served as an assistant coach for the Chicago Blackhawks. During his time in Chicago, he helped the team improve in wins and points each season. The Blackhawks advanced to the Western Conference Finals in 2008-09 and won the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship.
Torchetti has served as an interim head coach in the NHL on two occasions: with the Florida Panthers in 2003-04, where he posted a 10-12-4-1 record in 27 games, and with the Los Angeles Kings in 2005-06, earning a 5-7-0 record in the final 12 games of the season. He was also the head coach of the San Antonio Iguanas of the Central Hockey League (1994-96), the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League (1996-98), the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage (2002-03) and the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (2006-07). Torchetti was twice named Coach of the Year, first with San Antonio in 1994-95, then with Fort Wayne in 1997-98.
In 1996-97, He spent time as the assistant general manager with the San Antonio Dragons (IHL) and was the general manager of the Detroit Vipers (IHL) in 1998-99. During his tenure in Detroit, the Vipers posted a 50-12-11 record and captured the IHL’s Eastern Conference Championship.
Torchetti’s professional playing career spanned seven seasons in the Atlantic Coast Hockey League, the All-American Hockey League, the ECHL and the AHL. In total, Torchetti earned 532 points (258-274=532) in 359 career games with the Carolina Thunderbirds (ACHL, AAHL, ECHL), Virginia Lancers (ACHL), Binghamton Whalers (AHL) and Winston-Salem Thunderbirds (ECHL) from 1984-91.
Kurt Kleinendorst was named the first head coach in Iowa Wild history, guiding the team to a 27-36-6-7 mark in 2013-14. The team started off the 2014-15 season with a 2-10-0-0 mark, leaving Kleinendorst with a 29-47-6-7 (.398) overall record in Iowa.