Is Dudley about to light the Torch in Atlanta?

First there was a fellow by the name of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in the mid-nineteenth century…then the Olympic games in the summer of 1996. And now, if rumors are be believed, Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley could be ready to march another “Torch” into the city of Atlanta.

I’m speaking, of course, of John Torchetti…who right about now is probably waking up in Chicago after a night of partying with the Blackhawks and Lord Stanley’s Cup. The Hawks ended the SCF by beating the Flyers in game six 4-3 on Patrick Kane’s overtime goal. And now that the NHL season is official over, the Thrashers and Dudley can now fly him into town for an interview.

John Torchetti celebrates in Philadelphia with Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews and Tomas Kopecky after winning the Stanley Cup. Could the Torch soon be making his way to Thrasherville? (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

John Torchetti celebrates in Philadelphia with Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews and Tomas Kopecky after winning the Stanley Cup. Could the Torch soon be making his way to Thrasherville? (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Torchetti does have limited experience as a head coach at the NHL level…39 games total as a bench boss. In 2004 he actually replaced Dudley behind the bench in Florida after the Panthers started the season 13-15-9-3. Torchetti and the Panthers finished with a 10-12-4-1 record before the team hired Jacques Martin just after that season ended. Torchetti once again was hired on an interim basis in Los Angeles. There he finished out the season’s last twelve games, winning 5 and losing 7.

His all-time record as an NHL head coach is 15-19-4-1.

However, if indeed Dudley lights the Torch here in Thrasherville, it would be his first full-time gig as a head coach for an NHL team.

Torchetti will be 46-years of age on July 9 and was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He played for Jamaica Plain High School in the Boston City League before moving on to New Preparatory School of Cambridge, Mass. He was a left wing and went on to play in the ACHL, AAHL, ECHL and AHL.

After coaching at the ECHL and IHL levels, Torchetti was hired as an assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1999. In 2004, while coaching the San Antonio Rampage, he was promoted to assistant coach of their parent club Florida Panthers. In 2006 he replaced Ted Nolan as Head Coach & Director of Hockey Operation for the Moncton Wilcats. That QMJHL team finished 39-25-0-9 and qualified for the playoffs.

Torchetti has been with the Blackhawks since May 27, 2007.

As for timing…well, I would suspect he’ll want to take a few days to celebrate in Chicago with the Blackhawks and their fans, take a few days off to rest…and maybe sometime mid-to-late next week we could be hearing some sort of buzz about an interview down here.

This would set up, possibly, an announcement sometime around the NHL entry draft, which will be held in L.A. beginning June 25. Remember, two years ago then-GM Don Waddell attempted to time the announcement of new head coach John Anderson the day of the draft…but he was spotted in a local hotel days before, spoiling the surprise.

Until then, congratulation to John Torchetti, the Blackhawks and the city of Chicago on that team’s first championship since 1961!

60 comments Add your comment

DWTOO

June 11th, 2010
7:32 am

If Nolan has always worked in organizations that were a mess he’d be a natural here. Wait, we’re turning the corner??

Actually Nolan would be worth a look.

World Be Free

June 11th, 2010
7:43 am

DTWOO-I was thinking of saying that but I’d didn’t want to be too negative, or I guess too realistic about our past.

GaVaHokie

June 11th, 2010
8:30 am

Red Light… I think Montreal was supposed to pick 15th… now 27th.

rob

June 11th, 2010
8:49 am

Anyone think maybe the Wolves coach comes here as Asst? I know some have said Torch and Ramsey could come in 1,2, but I don’t think either of them would leave one asst. spot on the teams they are on for a spot as asst. with us IMO. The Wolves coach as Asst. might make sense though, as the team looks at bringing up guys, maybe it would help the transition by having a familiar face for them here?

World Be Free

June 11th, 2010
8:55 am

rob-I think Torch wants to be a HC, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ramsay come here as an assistant. Rammer likes to teach, which is why I thought he would be a good choice as a head coach. He has always been a good communictor, as a coach and as a player. Not sure about the Wolves’ assistants.

DWTOO

June 11th, 2010
9:00 am

After watching Anderson flame out doubt that anyone in Chicago would be seriously considered. Too easy to criticize.

rob

June 11th, 2010
9:45 am

If one of them leaves their current spot as an assistant to come here as one, I think it would speak volumes for what is happening here…I was curious if it made semse though, as both are already assistants in good organizations and aren’t in jeapordy of losing them to my knowledge

rob

June 11th, 2010
9:47 am

Or will Duds wait on assistant until coach is hired to give him a say in the matter? Though as he has said he wasn’t worried about getting coach before draft as that is his job, I wonder if he would allow coach to pick assistant and other staff?

Red Light

June 11th, 2010
9:53 am

I would be shocked if Ramsay came here as an assistant to Torchetti or anyone else. Why would he leave a post he has held since 2007 for a lateral move to a struggling franchise just because he knows and played with Dudley?

Torchetti might be the next coming of Scotty Bowman, the coach, but if he’s not successful within a two-year time frame (like Anderson), where does that leave the franchise particularly if Dudley makes the personnel moves we all expect and the owners actually do pony up some more money?

Mike Havilland, the Hawks’ other assistant is expected to interview with New Jersey and maybe here too.

World Be Free

June 11th, 2010
10:09 am

Right Light-just a hunch on Rammer coming here. He and Dudley have known each other for 40 years. He may want a new challenge but not the burden of being a head coach.

Maybe-you never know.