SUNRISE, Fla. — With a relatively young team, Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon is of the belief that the club needs an experienced coach behind the bench.
And with that, Peter Horachek’s time as interim coach is over. The Panthers fired Horachek on Tuesday, after Florida went 26-36-4 under him this past season. Horachek had no previous NHL coaching experience before replacing Kevin Dineen on Nov. 8 and while Tallon lauded the interim coach’s work, he simply thinks that a change in direction is needed.
“We just felt as a group that it wasn’t quite the right fit with the direction that we’re headed in,” Tallon said.
Tallon said there’s no timetable for finding a new coach, other than that the team wants to make a hire before the draft in late June. He said Peter Laviolette, who was fired by the Philadelphia Flyers early this season, is on his list of candidates, and there’s also speculation he could target former Nashville coach Barry Trotz.
“We’re going to interview every possible candidate and take our time and make the right decision,” Tallon said.
Horachek had been the coach of Florida’s AHL affiliate in San Antonio before being summoned to lead the Panthers. Tallon said Horachek will not remain with the organization in any capacity.