The Florida Panthers fired interim coach Peter Horachek on Tuesday.
Horachek was the 12th coach of the Panthers in team history. On November 8 of last year he took over as the interim coach of the Panthers after they fired Kevin Dineen. The Panthers had a 3-8-4 record and were on a seven game winless streak when Dineen was fired. In 66 games with Horachek as the coach the Panthers had a 26-36-4 record, according to Fox Sports. The Panthers missed the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 seasons.
“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,” Panthers vice president and general manager Dale Tallon said. “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 went on to add, “We just felt as a group that it wasn’t quite the right fit with the direction we’re headed in. We felt that we probably needed someone with more NHL head coaching experience moving down the road.”
Horachek had been coaching the Panther’s AHL affiliate in San Antonio before he became the Panthers interim coach. There is no timetable for finding Horachek’s replacement, but they would like to find his replacement before the NHL Entry Draft in June, where the Panthers have the number one pick. Former Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette and former Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz are candidates to be Horachek’s replacement, according to the Associated Press. The Panthers will try to keep assistant coaches John Madden and Brian Skrudland.
In the last 10 years the Panthers have had seven different coaches. Of those seven coaches, only Dineen has led the Panthers to the playoffs. The new Panthers coach will be the third coach since Tallon became general manager.
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