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Boston native was Moncton’s head coach and director of hockey operations in 2006-07
MONCTON, N.B. – The Moncton Wildcats reached into their past to find their new head coach.
John Torchetti was introduced as the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) team’s new head coach and director of hockey operations during a news conference Tuesday afternoon at the new Avenir Centre. He served in the role in 2006-07 when the Wildcats finished 39-25-0-4, fourth overall in the QMJHL.
“I’m excited by the opportunity with the Moncton Wildcats,” Torchetti said. “I’m looking forward to returning to Moncton and helping the team achieve its vision. I want to build a team that gives us the best chance to win the Memorial Cup, while also embracing the Wildcats values. Ultimately, we are entrusted to help shape the character of these young men.”
He replaces head coach Darren Rumble, who was fired last week.
The Wildcats got off to a strong start this season before running into a slump. They are 25-14-3-2 and fourth in the Eastern Conference.
The squad includes Summerside forward Jeremy McKenna and Cornwall defenceman Jordan Spence.
Torchetti, 54, began his NHL coaching career in 1999 with the Tampa Bay Lightning as assistant coach, and has since spent 12 seasons in the NHL, serving as both assistant and head coach.
A native of Boston, Torchetti spent five seasons coaching in the AHL and ventured oversees during the 2013-14 season as head coach of the CSKA Moskva in the KHL. His most recent coaching experience was with the Detroit Red Wings as assistant coach for both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
“John brings tremendous experience and a strong commitment to winning,” said Robert K. Irving, Wildcats president. “John has had success at every level, including winning the Stanley Cup as assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks. I’m confident that John will help build a winning attitude and culture within our team. Today begins an exciting new chapter for the Moncton Wildcats.”
Torchetti will make his debut behind the bench on tonight as the Wildcats host the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at 7 p.m.
With the moves, Ritchie Thibeau returns to assistant director of hockey operations.