PRINCETON, N.J. – The Los Angeles Kings are scheduled to announce on Wednesday that they have named former ECHL player and coach John Torchetti as interim head coach.
Torchetti replaces Andy Murray, who was relieved of his coaching duties on Tuesday. The Kings (37-28-5) are tied with Edmonton for seventh in the Western Conference, but the Oilers have two more games remaining than Los Angeles.
It is the second time that Torchetti has been named an interim head coach, having coached the Florida Panthers to a 10-12-4-1 record at the end of the 2003-04 season.
The 41-year-old Torchetti began his career behind the bench in 1992-93 as an assistant coach with the Greensboro Monarchs. Torchetti scored 42 points (16g-26a) in 30 regular season games and helped the Carolina Thunderbirds win the inaugural ECHL Championship scoring 10 points (5g-5a) in 11 playoff games with the Carolina Thunderbirds in 1988-89. He scored 44 points (23g-21a) in 47 regular season games and one point (1g-0a) in four playoff games with the Winston-Salem Thunderbirds of the ECHL in 1989-90. He concluded his playing career in 1990-91 scoring 41 points (19g-22a) in 47 games with Winston-Salem.
Torchetti is the fourth ECHL coach to become a head coach in the NHL joining current Carolina head coach Peter Laviolette; Bruce Cassidy, who coached Washington to the Stanley Cup Playoffs as a rookie head coach in 2002-03; and Dave Allison, who coached Ottawa for 25 games in 1995-96. Brian McCutcheon, who was ECHL Coach of the Year with Columbus in 1996-97, is an assistant coach with Buffalo and has shared coaching duties with assistant coach Scott Arniel while head coach Lindy Ruff attends to his ill daughter.
There have been 299 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL, including 43 this season who have made their first NHL appearance since playing in the ECHL. The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the NHL and there are more than 100 players on ECHL rosters under contract to teams in the NHL.