Florida Panthers Fire Peter Horachek

The Florida Panthers fired interim coach Peter Horachek on April 29.

Apr 29 2014, 7:38pm CDT | by

Florida Panthers Fire Peter Horachek
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Florida Panthers fired interim coach Peter Horachek on April 29. 

The team issued a press release on Horachek's dismissal on its official website: 

"Florida Panthers executive vice president and general manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has relieved interim coach Peter Horachek of his duties within the organization, effective immediately. 

"'Peter worked very diligently since taking over as interim head coach in November, but at this time we feel that a fresh approach and a new direction is needed behind our bench,' said Tallon. 'We will immediately begin an extensive search for a new and experienced coach for our franchise, who will guide the Panthers to future success. We once again thank Peter for all of his hard work and service and wish him the best in his future endeavors.'"

Tallon cites Horachek's lack of head-coaching experience as the main reason for his dismissal, per The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Harvey Fialkov. 

"We just felt as a group that it wasn't quite the right fit with the direction we're headed in. We thought we needed to get somebody with probably more NHL coaching experience. We're going to identify the guys that are available and get the best availabel candidate that has the most experience probably." 

Tallon told George Richards of The Miami Herald on April 29 that former Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz is a good candidate to replace Horachek. 

In his article, Richards writes about Tallon's admiration for Trotz. 

"Tallon fired interim coach Peter Horachek on Tuesday, citing Horachek's lack of said experience. Prior to replacing Kevin Dineen on Nov. 8, Horachek spent nine seasons as an assistant in Nashville. 

"Barry Trotz, recently fired as coach of the Predators, is thought to be near the top of Tallon's wish list. Trotz, the only head coach in Nashville's history and one of Horachek's closest friends, is expected to be courted by a number of teams. 

"'Barry Trotz is a hell of a coach,' Tallon said when prompted.

"Said Horachek: 'He's been a very successful coach for 15 years in Nashville and I think he'll be quickly scooped up. If he was given the opportunity and thought (Florida) was best for him, I would wish him all the best in that.'

"'Absolutely. I wish him nothing but the best. Let the chips fall where they may. I wish Dale and the Panthers nothing but the best. I hope things go well.'

"Former Philadelphia and Carolina coach Peter Laviolette is also on Tallon's radar Laviolette won the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006 and took the Flyers to the Cup Finals in 2010 where they lost to the Blackhawks." 

Horachek also told Fialkov he regrets not being able to monitor the growh of young Panthers such as Vincent Trochek, Nick Bjugstad, Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Racine. 

"It's never good news when that happens. I knew the situation with the young players here. The exciting part would've been to go forward with those guys. The last part of the season we were really just evaluating players to see where they fit. There wasn't any misconception that we were going to win at that point. 

"The decision is up to Dale and the ownership. I don't hold any ill will. I got an opportunity to coach in the NHL and I believe I'll get another one. I'm very confident in my abilities and that I'll land on my feet. I thank them and I'll move on to my next venture." 

According to Larry Walanski of NBC Miami, Horachek will not be offered another position within the Panthers organization, per Tallon. Horachek, who coached the American Hockey League's San Antonio Rampage prior to taking over Dinenn, could return to the AHL should he not find any suitable opportunities in the NHL. 

Horachek finished his interim coaching stint with the Panthers with a 26-36-4 record. 

 

 

 
 
 


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

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