Thrashers name John Torchetti associate coach

ATLANTA, GA. – The Atlanta Thrashers have named John Torchetti as the team’s associate coach, according to General Manager Rick Dudley and Head Coach Craig Ramsay.

Torchetti, 45, joins the Thrashers with more than 26 years of professional hockey experience as a player, coach and manager. His NHL coaching resume includes stops in Tampa Bay (1999-00 to 2000-01), Florida (2002-03 to 2003-04), Los Angeles (2005-06) and Chicago (2007-08 to 2009-10). The Thrashers will mark the fourth NHL team which Torchetti and Dudley have worked together.

“I’ve known John for several years and he is a highly-talented and extremely knowledgeable individual,” said Dudley. “He is an excellent coach who will strengthen Craig’s staff and we’re fortunate to have him as part of our organization.”

Most recently Torchetti served as an assistant coach for the Chicago Blackhawks, a position he held since the start of the 2007-08 season. During his time in Chicago, Torchetti helped the team improve in wins and points each season, reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2008-09 and capturing the 2010 Stanley Cup.

“John is a dedicated individual who will be an invaluable resource to me and a significant asset for our players,” said Ramsay. “His strengths compliment mine and match up well with what we will be striving to accomplish.”

The Boston, Mass., native 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.

Torchetti served as head coach for the San Antonio Iguanas of the Central Hockey League (1994-95 to 1995-96), the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League (1996-97 to 1997-98), the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League (2002-03) and the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (2006-07). He was twice named Coach of the Year, first with San Antonio in 1994-95, then with Fort Wayne in 1997-98.

Torchetti also spent time as assistant general manager with the San Antonio Dragons (IHL) during the 1996-97 season and as general manager of the Detroit Vipers (IHL) in 1998-99, succeeding Dudley in that position. During his tenure in Detroit, the Vipers posted a 50-12-11 record and captured the IHL’s Eastern Conference Championship.

His 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 goals, 274 assists) in 359 career games with the Carolina Thunderbirds (ACHL, AAHL, ECHL), Virginia Lancers (ACHL), Binghamton Whalers (AHL) and Winston-Salem Thunderbirds (ECHL) from 1984-85 to 1990-91. Prior to his professional career, Torchetti had a brief stint with the Plattsburgh Pioneers of the QMJHL during the 1984-85 season, posting five points (two goals, three assists) in eight games.

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