Panthers Name Torchetti Coach

Archived from 2003-04 season.

NHL teams

Rick Dudley stepped down as coach of the Florida Panthers and named assistant coach John Torchetti the new head coach for the rest of the season.

Dudley had been serving in the dual role of coach-general manager after firing Mike Keenan on November 9. He went 13-15-9-3 in 40 games as coach, but timed this move so he could attend this week's meetings of general managers in Las Vegas.

"This move allows me to refocus on my responsibilities as general manager at this critical time of year," Dudley said. "I traded for Nikolai Khabibulin (when Dudley was Tampa Bay general manager) at one GMs' meeting, so this is very important."

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