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and the revolving door that is the Florida Panthers coaching job continues.....
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Old 09 Feb 2004, 01:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default and the revolving door that is the Florida Panthers coaching job continues.....

Rick Dudley resigned today after firing Mike Keenan mere months ago.......

all i have to say is :

What.
The.
Fuck?

seriously...three coaches in one season? Jebus H. Christ!

MIAMI (AP) Rick Dudley left his job as the Florida Panthers' coach Monday to focus on his duties as general manager. Assistant coach John Torchetti will coach the team the rest of the season.
Dudley timed the move so he could attend this week's meetings of NHL general managers in Las Vegas. Torchetti will make his debut as an NHL head coach Tuesday at home against Montreal.

Torchetti becomes the Panthers' third coach this season and their fifth since 2000. He most likely will return next season if the team plays well in its final 27 games, Dudley said.

"John has a chance to be very special as a coach," Dudley said from Las Vegas. "This is his opportunity."

At 38, Torchetti becomes the league's third-youngest coach.

The young Panthers (18-23-11-3) began the week nine points behind in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but they have a favorable schedule down the stretch.

"We think we're a good enough team to take a run at a playoff spot," Dudley said. "We're playing reasonably well. We can ratchet that up a little bit. Maybe this is a little jolt."

Dudley said the change will also allow him to do a better job as general manager. A significant move is possible before the trading deadline March 9.

"There were just things I wasn't getting done," he said. "I don't like to be talking with people about players and acquisitions not having firsthand knowledge and not having seen them in a year. You're dealing with millions of dollars."

Florida went 5-8-2 in their first 13 games this season under Mike Keenan before he was fired Nov. 9. The Panthers went 13-15-9-3 under Dudley, who said he accomplished his goal as their coach.

"I felt they needed an avuncular type who patted them on the back and told them they were all right," he said. "They enjoy coming to the rink. They enjoy playing. They're a team that really, really wants to win."

The Panthers last made the playoffs in 2000.

Torchetti, a Boston native, never played in the NHL but enjoys a reputation as an excellent teacher and student of the game. He was associate coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning for two seasons and joined the Panthers as an assistant last March.

Steve Ludzik will remain as Torchetti's assistant.



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Old 09 Feb 2004, 06:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Florida has some nice young talent and they seriously should be competing in the South East. I wonder if this is more on Rick Dudley or the previous regime.
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