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Torchetti's Position Is One He's Been In Before

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said given the situation of the Wild's coaching change, John Torchetti was "the only candidate you could look at that brought all those qualifications to the table."

Those qualifications included familiarity with a roster despite the season being 55 games old, a sense of the style the Wild wants to play, experience at the NHL level, and the ability to pull a team out of what Minnesota is going through.

"He’s watched our team, so he’s much more familiar with our team than anybody on the outside would be, but he’s also a fresh set of eyes," Fletcher said. "It’s a new voice, a demanding guy, emotional guy and a great communicator."



This will be Torchetti's third tour as an interim Head Coach having taken over midseason with a vacancy after a firing. 

He coached the final 12 games of the season for the Los Angeles Kings in 2005-06, and the final 27 games of the season for the Florida Panthers in 2003-04.

"I have a little bit of an idea with the players and how they’re feeling," Torchetti said. "I’m just very excited about the opportunity and hopefully my past experience with clubs, it’s my third time, just dealing with the players, that’s the number one thing moving forward."



He made a stop in Chicago as an assistant for the Blackhawks, both winning a Stanley Cup in 2010, and manning the Blackhawks bench in 2009 at Wrigley Field for the Winter Classic.

Torchetti's first home game as the Wild's head coach will be at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday in front of 50,000 fans in the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.

"That's pretty cool," Torchetti said. "It's a real exciting thing, but also we want to win the game. ... I've been fortunate to play and coach in some pretty good states, and we're the State of Hockey.

"There's a lot of pride of on the line."

Torchetti's winding road, which has included stops in the Kontinental Hockey League, the Central Hockey League, the International Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, has now led him back to the NHL.

He has 27 games to help get the Wild back into the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, six points behind the eighth place Colorado Avalanche entering Monday with four games in hand. 

Anything beyond that, and Torchetti isn't too focused on it.

"I'm just excited about working with these guys, and getting the team back going," he said. "We've been together a long time, all of us. We're a family, and we've had a bump in the road, and we lost a good solider, and now we just have to get back on track."

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