Thursday, March 6, 2003
Sutter, Torchetti replace Baxter, Kingston
MIAMI -- The Florida Panthers hired former coach Duane
Sutter and John Torchetti as assistant coaches Thursday to replace
the fired Paul Baxter and George Kingston.
Sutter and Torchetti will join the team in time for Friday's
game against the Atlanta Thrashers.
"It was a change that was better made at this time than at the
end of the season," general manager Rick Dudley said in a
statement. "A change was necessary and this is an ideal time for
that process to begin."
Florida has the 11th-best record in the Eastern Conference and
is eight points behind eighth-place Boston in the race for a
The 42-year-old Sutter had a record of 22-35-8-7 record in parts
of two seasons as coach of the Panthers. He was replaced by Mike
Keenan in December 2001. He was a member of four Stanley Cup
champion teams with the New York Islanders from 1980-83.
Torchetti, 38, had been the coach of Florida's AHL affiliate in
San Antonio. He led the expansion Rampage to a 30-23-10-2 record,
good for second place in the Western Conference's West Division.
Sutter and Torchetti were not available for comment Thursday
Baxter worked as an assistant for 13 NHL seasons, including the
last two with the Panthers. Kingston was the head coach in San Jose
from 1991-93 and had been an assistant at the NHL level for seven
seasons, the last two of those in Florida.