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

R. Stroz

June 10th, 2010
11:35 am

rob

June 10th, 2010
11:42 am

rob

June 10th, 2010
11:50 am

Rawhide,
Good info on where he has been, but I haven’t seen too much about what he really is all about. What are his stregths, thoughts on coaching, philosophy, kind of things we could expect if he is indeed named coach. Whereas we know a bit about Ramsey and I think he would have to be a strong 2nd because of what he has to offer.

Joe Friday

June 10th, 2010
11:50 am

Bring some of that mojo down here!

Chevy

June 10th, 2010
12:04 pm

Don’t think John Torchetti is gonna be the guy for the job, whether he was part of the Hawks Cup run or not. No more unproven head coaches.

Red Light

June 10th, 2010
12:05 pm

Rawhide, et al!

What do Donald Audette, Steve Shields, Kamil Piros, Kyle Rossiter, Darcy Hordichuk, Jani Hurme and Ivan Majesky have in common?

Thrashplayhere

June 10th, 2010
12:11 pm

1st = douche

World Be Free

June 10th, 2010
12:12 pm

Hawks players like Tony Esposito can smile today too, having blown game 7 in the 1971 Stanley Cup Finals at home to the Habs. Betcha Espo still has nightmares of Marc Tardif.

GaVaHokie

June 10th, 2010
12:18 pm

I find myself leaning towards Rammer.

Red Light

June 10th, 2010
12:26 pm

Since nepotism seems to be the order of the day among NHL teams, I fully expect Torch or Ramsay to get the coaching nod here. Never thought otherwise. The UFA players I alluded to last night are Olli Jokinen, who had his best years in Florida with Dudley and Ruslan Fedetenko who was in Tampa Bay with Dudley. Another just over 30 player that Dudley has a relationship with is Matt Cullen. As Dudley said in his post-hire press conference, that if he could acquire veterans who could provide two or three years of quality play while waiting for the young guys to prove themselves at the NHL level, then he would consider it. Not saying it will happen, but don’t be surprised if you hear those names.

The guys I listed above were either acquired, played for or were dealt by both Waddell and Dudley (when he was in Florida).

World Be Free

June 10th, 2010
12:26 pm

Thanks for the additional information on Torch. Like rob, I’d like to hear more about his philosophies. I would also like to know his specific responsibilities with the Hawks. What Torchetti skills contributed to Chicago’s first Stanley Cup in 49 years? Dudley has extensive history with both Ramsay and Torchetti. One of these guys will get the HC job here, maybe the other would come as an assistant?

I think a hire should be sooner than later. Potential UFAs are out there right now, evaluating where they may or may not go July 1. The right coach and system could be an asset to ATL attracting free agents. We need something because we cannot attract anyone on our rich history!

World Be Free

June 10th, 2010
12:31 pm

Olie’s game fell off during the 2nd year of his most recent contract. I applauded FLA for resigning him, but now he looks like something is missing from his game. He made $5.25M last season, not sure how much of a pay cut he’ll accept to go anywhere. The Rangers will not be resigning him and he prefers the NHL to Europe, at least to this point. The sens want to resign Cullen but probably won’t have the cap space to meet his salary/term demands.

TableHockey

June 10th, 2010
12:31 pm

I think either Torchetti and Ramsay would be good though I tend to lean towards Torchetti since the Thrashers have such a young team as did Chicago. Obviously the Blackhawks are going to have to shed some salary. Would be nice if we could work a trade with those guys – would love to see Sharp or Buff in ATL.

Mr. Whipple

June 10th, 2010
12:34 pm

Hi, I am Todd White’s #1 fan

GaVaHokie

June 10th, 2010
12:43 pm

Hi, I am Todd White’s fan

fixed

DWTOO

June 10th, 2010
1:04 pm

Well, glad that the Philly bashing is over. Been taking a beating at work too. Like most of you guys I still remain loyal to the home teams from where I grew up. Unfortunately, it was 50 miles north of Philadelphia. Been a Flyers fan from Day One and still cheer for them except when they play the Thrashers. Everybody has to be from somewhere and it could be worse – could’ve been born in New York.

As for Philly fans – they are a tough bunch. I’ve seen them boo a girls drill team and cheer for a squirrel (you read that right). The only place where they had a police precinct right in the stadium. But, they are knowledgable and do support their teams. They’ll just let you know when they think you’re not happy with your play.

One thing Torchetti would bring here is a winning attitude. And I’d take a shot at Ollie J. Give him a chance to get back on track.

Red Light

June 10th, 2010
1:12 pm

World: I’d be interested to know if your opinion about Sharp has changed and what you’d give up for him now!

rob

June 10th, 2010
1:19 pm

Mr Whipple,
#1 and only fan dare I say?

rob

June 10th, 2010
1:20 pm

DW,
Phill bashing may NEVER go out of style :)

LAC

June 10th, 2010
1:29 pm

No coach will do any good, NEW owners and NO waddell would fix the problems and
start a rise to the top… But we are still The Titanic and will be until changes are made.
Anyone out there who thinks Dudley is in charge is sadly mistaken, worthless waddell still
makes the moves that have doomed this team since it’s inception.

Hey Bill, When you want to go on a TRAIN ride in the Locomotive ??? Just bought 10 new
General Electric ES44DC’s 4400 HP, $1.6 each, so need to run them, you’re invited…

World Be Free

June 10th, 2010
1:30 pm

R/L-I’d take Sharp in a heartbeat for pick #24 and a prospect.
Not sure #24 alone would get it done.

Brendan

June 10th, 2010
1:37 pm

I hope WHOMEVER is selected as coach is able to be there, at the Draft. I still say a coach should have some input as to the roster. If there’s a player on the board in the 5th round, and Torchetti or Ramsay says, “I’ve seen this player. He’s good.” I think that could only help.

Red Light

June 10th, 2010
1:40 pm

LAC: How about a guest conductor. Eric “Train” Vail?

Rawhide

June 10th, 2010
1:45 pm

rob – I would also agree that Ramsay is high on Dudley’s list.

LAC – Hmmmm….train ride, eh? Let me see when both the tax exemptions are free on a weekend and maybe we can get together for that. I’ll be in touch. Thanks.

Red Light

June 10th, 2010
1:45 pm

Brendan: Not sure either watch much prospect hockey with their assistant coaching duties.

Not Blind

June 10th, 2010
1:55 pm

Hopefully Torchetti is not Quenville. If I was Dudley I would ask Torchetti to critique Chicago’s coaching during the Finals. If Torchetti says that the coaching of the Blackhawks in the last 1/2 of the 3rd period of game 6 was dumb and was bound to result in a goal against and he could see it as it was happening but couldn’t convince Quenville to go back to the style that got them the lead then I would consider hiring him. On the other hand if he says that Quenville’s coaching is great then put Torchetti on a plane and send him home.

jimbo

June 10th, 2010
1:58 pm

If we can’t get Uncle Bob back, then Ramsey. Not Torchetti.

GaVaHokie

June 10th, 2010
2:05 pm

Brendan… Dudley doesn’t believe in coaches giving input. Seems he’d rather “build the team” then pick the coach best suited for “that team”.

Like they always say, it’s easier to change the coach than the team.

Someone who would know

June 10th, 2010
2:34 pm

Ramsay No. 1, Torch No. 2

alex

June 10th, 2010
3:29 pm

don’t worry guys will be cheapest available coach. asg is the best. my suggesting to levenson – try to bribe corrupt russian goverment to buy mines in subiria like new owner of nba nj did. than make real money, after come back and do hockey again like real owner. tnan we get a chance to compete.

Buzilla in CT

June 10th, 2010
3:30 pm

Can someone please explain what is up with Dudley’s doo? They make spray on mullets? I am amazed there is a market for this stuff

http://www.amazon.com/SPRAY-HAIR-COLOR-DARK-BROWN/dp/B000BBSL5E

Midfield

June 10th, 2010
3:32 pm

Frankly, I’m really bummed that Laviolette was available not that long time ago – bygones, of course. There is nobody in the league who impressed me more than him as of late – putting this kind of run, especially with their goaltending situation. Let’s face it: Chicago line-up is head and shoulders above any other in terms of talent and speed. That reminds me of anther guy: Barry Trotz – he is a keeper, and if he ever pops up on the market, hire this man.

Mr. Whipple

June 10th, 2010
3:35 pm

Todd White for Sharp straight up?

Buzilla in CT

June 10th, 2010
3:38 pm

I would like Ted Nolan to at least get an interview. His blackballing has been for long enough

GaVaHokie

June 10th, 2010
4:04 pm

I would like Ted Nolan to at least get an interview. His blackballing has been for long enough

I’d invite him just to see how many times he’ll show up.

Buzilla in CT

June 10th, 2010
4:12 pm

I had no idea that it was Hossa that blinded Brian Berard. I read that the other day. That sucks

World Be Free

June 10th, 2010
4:12 pm

I’d vote for Ted Nolan anyday.

DWTOO

June 10th, 2010
4:23 pm

Nolan always seemed to do a pretty good job in Buffalo. He hardly had a chance on the Island. Whose corn flakes did he tinkle in the earn such derision?

GaVaHokie

June 10th, 2010
4:23 pm

I’d like to see Dudley interview Ted Nolan and see how many times he can say “Meow”.

http://www.truveo.com/meow-mix/id/658345576

Red Light

June 10th, 2010
4:25 pm

If the Rangers had won the shoot-out in Philadelphia on the last day of season, Anaheim would have had the 10th and 12th picks in the upcoming draft. Instead their 2nd pick is now 29th. Tough break huh?

Buzilla in CT

June 10th, 2010
4:29 pm

He tinkled in Garth Snow’s, and apparently he would always say “HellRow” to Wang in the mornings, so they fired him for being racist.

Fan from Carolina

June 10th, 2010
4:40 pm

Yzerman and Boucher would be a good combo for our Thrashers. Oh, never mind…

litz

June 10th, 2010
5:52 pm

10 ES44DC’s, at a cool 1.6mil each, comes shockingly close to the Thrasher’s payroll (as ASG would love to see it) …

LAC – who are you with that just bought 4 and a half million pounds of motive power?

As for Dudley … my hope is he can put his foot down and get his way, and get things done, despite what (I’m sure) his higher-ups want.

Nate

June 10th, 2010
6:21 pm

I dunno. Torchetti’s qualifications seem pretty slim. On the other hand, anyone associated with the Blackhawks looks pretty good right about now wouldn’t you say?

That was a surreal and awesome ending last night. I bought a Kane jersey off ebay during the Preds series and wore it every game up until the winner last night…and he scores it. Crazy…

kracker

June 10th, 2010
9:01 pm

Chicagp cap woes — twitter — tsnjamesduthie Toews gets a 1.3 million bonus for winning Conn. Because Chi was at cap, it will count against next year, so add that to their cap issues.

hahahahahaha go get us a deal Duds!!

World Be Free

June 10th, 2010
10:13 pm

DWTOO-Nolan did a pretty good job with the limited lime he had on the Island. He won in BUF with a great goalie and a decent team. Nolan gets the most out of his players.

Hasek disliked Nolan, but the rest of his players loved him. One time, Michal Grosek complainted to the media about his ice time, indirectly tossing Nolan under the wheels. The next day, Matthew Barnaby beat the heck out of Grosek in practice and nobody jumped in to help Grosek. The players respected Nolan.

But Teddy is stubbon, wants everything his way. GMs have enough issues, they don’t need an uncooperative head coach. Having said this, I think Nolan and Dudley could work together, since both had to fight their way into the league. Lots in common; interesting suggestion.

R/L-the chances you taek when you trade for draft picks. Wonder how the 4 number #1’s Anahiem got for Pronger will fair compared to what Chris did for Philly.

Mr. Whipple

June 10th, 2010
10:13 pm

Todd White is not a Ted Nolan type player.

Brendan

June 10th, 2010
11:25 pm

Well, if Dudley wants this much control over the players, why doesn’t he just coach them, too? It would save the Spirit another paycheck.

Pause.

Forget I said anything! Please hire a coach!!!!

Smitty

June 11th, 2010
5:52 am

I would like to see Ted Nolan at least get an interview. He is a proven commodity who gets the most out of his players. He did a good job in Buffalo and the Islanders were just starting to come around when he was let go. Both times I believe were the results of organizational power struggles. Yes he is strong minded but I would think that might be a plus when you are judging coaching prospects. Both these teams were tough to play against when he was leading them.

World Be Free

June 11th, 2010
6:03 am

Smitty-like you said, he got the most out of his players AND his players respected him, unless you were Hasak. Both placed he coached in were an organization mess when he was there.

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.