WASHINGTON: John Torchetti, a former coach of CSKA Moscow, was named interim coach of the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild on Sunday, hours after the firing of coach Mike Yeo.
Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher made the move after a 4-2 home loss to Boston on Saturday stretched Minnesota’s losing streak to eight games.
Torchetti, who went 32-22 with the Russian Kontinental Hockey League squad in the 2013-14 campaign, had been serving as coach of the Wild’s top developmental club in Iowa for the past season and a half.
“We have to build confidence,” Torchetti said. “Winning doesn’t happen just by showing up.”
His first game with the Wild will come Monday at Vancouver. Those two clubs and Arizona share ninth in the Western Conference on 56 points, five adrift of Nashville and the last playoff position.
“This story isn’t finished being written yet,” Fletcher said. “We need a lot more from the group we have.”
The 51-year-old American has had two prior interim coaching stints in the NHL, winning 10 games in 27 starts with the Florida Panthers in 2003-04 and going 5-7 with the Los Angeles Kings at the end of the 2005-06 campaign.
Assistant coaching stops for three other NHL clubs included a spot on the staff of the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
The Wild have dropped eight home games in a row over the past six weeks.
“We have to play the right way and take charge in getting our group out of this,” left wing Zach Parise said. “We need to start being a much better hockey team.”