Former Nashville Knights and Trenton Titans head coach Peter Horachek has been named the interim head coach of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers.
Horachek, 53, becomes Florida’s 12th head coach in franchise history after most recently serving as the head coach of Florida’s American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. Prior to working in San Antonio, Horacheck spent nine seasons with the Nashville Predators (2003-2013), serving his last two years as associate head coach. While working for the Predators, he helped the club advance to the postseason on seven occasions.
A native of Stoney Creek, Ontario, Horachek made his head coaching debut in the ECHL with the Nashville Knights during the 1990-91 season, leading the club to a 31-29-4 record and a berth in the 1991 Riley Cup Playoffs. He returned to the ECHL with the Trenton Titans in 2001-02, and led Trenton to a 46-16-10 record. The Titans tied the ECHL record for the best start to a season with an 8-0-0 record and advanced to the Northwest Division Finals in te 2002 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Horachek was selected as co-coach for the Northern Conference in the 2002 ECHL All-Star Game in Trenton.
Horachek has also served as a head coach with the Orlando Solar Bears in the International Hockey League from 1999-2001 and with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals in 2002-03. He also has head coaching experience in the former Colonial Hockey League.
He becomes the fifth former ECHL coach to serve as an NHL head coach in 2013-14 joining Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach and 2011 Jack Adams Award winner Dan Bylsma, New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano and Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel. There are 30 coaches with an ECHL background are working behind the benches of teams in the NHL. It is the ninth consecutive season that there have been 11 or more coaches with an ECHL background working in the NHL.