With a new general manager [Brian MacLellan] and a new coach [Barry Trotz] the next step in the Capitals' front office rebuild will be the hiring of a new head coach for the AHL Hershey Bears and new assistants for the Capitals and Bears.
Among the top candidates for those positions are former Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel, former Florida Panthers head coach Peter Horachek, Nashville Predators assistant coach Lane Lambert, former Team Canada assistant coach Doug Shedden, Toronto Maple Leafs assistant coach Dave Farrish, Syracuse Crunch head coach Rob Zettler and former Canucks assistant coach Mike Sullivan.
In the coming days we'll profile each candidate. Today: Peter Horachek.
Hometown: Stoney Creek, Ontario
NHL head coaching record [Florida Panthers]: 26-36-4
Barry Trotz connection: After serving as head coach of the AHL Milwaukee Admirals for one season [2002-03] Horachek worked as Trotz' assistant in Nashville for nine seasons, the final three as associate coach. Under Trotz Horachek worked with the power play and penalty kill and helped develop the club's prospects. He landed a head coaching job with the AHL San Antonio Rampage last summer and was named interim head coach of the Florida Panthers in place of Kevin Dineen on Nov. 8. He was relieved of his duties with the Panthers after they failed to make the playoffs. Horachek told the Washington Post that he spoke with Trotz regularly during his time in Florida, adding that he would prefer to land a head coaching job in the NHL. "I think that's the goal," he said. "You want to have that opportunity to be a head coach. But a lot of times it's the people around you that are the most important and you want to surround yourself with good people. I certainly enjoyed my time with him and that was very important for me."
Other head coaching experience: Prior to joining Trotz' staff in Nashville, Horachek paid his dues, coaching in the IHL, the ECHL and the Colonial League before landing his first AHL gig with the Admirals. He won an IHL title with he Orlando Solar Bears in 2001, earning Coach of the Year honors that season. In nine full seasons as a head coach his teams have made the playoffs eight times.
Playing experience: A 6-foot-1, 205-pound right wing, Horachek played three years with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario League before embarking on a nine-year minor-league career in the AHL [Rochester Americans] and IHL [Flint/Saginaw Generals, Flint Spirits].