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Red Wings hire John Torchetti as assistant coach

The Detroit Red Wings have hired former Minnesota Wild interim coach John Torchetti as an assistant coach the team announced Thursday. 

Torchetti was named the Wild’s interim coach after the team fired Mike Yeo in February. Under the fiery Torchetti, Minnesota went 15-11-1 to make the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

They then took the favored Dallas Stars to six games in the first-round. Players on the Wild raved about Torchetti’s energetic approach during his time with the team.

“I was thinking like ‘OK, we got the minor league guy come up and we’ll play hard for him,” defenseman Ryan Suter said last February. “It’s hockey 100 percent of his time. He’s detailed and he’s animated because he’s very passionate about it.”

Torchetti was reportedly a candidate the Wild’s full-time head-coaching job after the season. Minnesota landed Bruce Boudreau – the biggest name on the coaching market – instead.

According to the Detroit Free-Press, Torchetti will be in charge of the forwards and the power play.

This past season the Red Wings were mediocre with the man-advantage. They finished 13th in the NHL at 18.8 percent, and converted at four percent in the playoffs. They lost in five games to the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Torchetti was an assistant on the Chicago Blackhawks’ 2010 Stanley Cup team. He was promoted from the Wild’s AHL head coaching job for the interim head coaching position.

This completes the Red Wings’ offseason shakeup with their assistant coaches. Tony Granato left the organization to coach at the University of Wisconsin. Pat Ferschweiler was reassigned. Doug Houda was hired last month to work with the defense.

Detroit still has one major lingering question this offseason. Pavel Datsyuk is mulling a return to Russia and the KHL next season to be closer to his family. He has one year left on his contract at $7.5 million and if he leaves, the Red Wings will dinged with that salary cap hit next season. A decision from Datsyuk is expected this month. 

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

 

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