Since Mike Yeo's promotion to Head Coach of the Wild, the Minnesota brass have been searching for his replacement to lead the Houston Aeros this fall. The search is over as the Wild and Aeros today announced that John Torchetti has been named the new Head Coach of the Aeros, the Wild's American Hockey League affiliate.
“We are excited to name John Torchetti as Head Coach of the Houston Aeros,” said Minnesota Wild Assistant to the General Manager/Houston Aeros General Manager Jim Mill. “He brings a wealth of coaching experience, is a proven winner at every level and will be a great asset to the Wild organization.”
Torchetti most recently served as the Atlanta Thrashers associate coach after being named to the position last July. The 46-year-old Boston native comes to the Aeros with 27 years of professional hockey experience as a player, coach and manager. He has nine years of coaching experience in the NHL, including 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, culminating with a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2008-09 and winning 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. Beginning in 1984, his teams reached the playoff finals in their respective leagues in seven of eight consecutive seasons.