PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Pensacola Ice Pilots announced that they have entered into an affiliation agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League and the Rockford Ice Hogs of the American Hockey League.
Former ECHL player and coach John Torchetti is an assistant coach for the Blackhawks while former ECHL player and coach Al MacIsaac is general manager of Rockford. Former ECHL coach Mike Haviland is head coach of Rockford while former ECHL coach Ted Dent is his assistant.
Torchetti began his career behind the bench in 1992-93 as an assistant coach with Greensboro of the ECHL and is one of five ECHL coaches that has been a head coach in the NHL, having been named interim head coach of the Florida Panthers in 2003-04 and interim head coach of the Los Angeles Kings in 2005-06. 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.
MacIsaac played two seasons in the ECHL for Hampton Roads, winning the league championship as a rookie in 1991-92 and being selected for the ECHL All-Star Game in 1993 before moving into the front office with the organization in 1993-94.
Haviland is one of two coaches to lead two different teams to the Kelly Cup championship, having won the ECHL title in 2003 with Atlantic City and in 2005 with Trenton. He was named the recipient of the American Hockey League’s outstanding coach award for 2006-07, becoming the sixth former ECHL coach to capture the honor.
Dent was head coach of the Columbia Inferno in 2005-06 and was an assistant coach for Haviland when the Titans won the Kelly Cup in 2004-05.