A Florida Panthers – Nashville Predators game might not seem like a match soaked in history, but for the two teams’ head coaches, it serves as meaningful encounter. Panthers head coach Peter Horachek spoke about the emotional impact of taking Barry Trotz, whom he assisted for about a decade.
“I learned from him and hopefully I added something for him,” Horacheck told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “We’re more like brothers, a deep friendship. Our wives talk; we’ve talked since I’ve been aboard here every week.
“I definitely want to win. I’m sure he definitely wants to win … This is a business. When you leave one team to go to another, a door opens up and you’re excited for another opportunity.”
The Predators surprised Horacheck by firing him this past summer, but the Sun-Sentinel notes that it didn’t take long for the Panthers to scoop him up.
“I’ve been trying to get Peter in our organization since I got here,” Panthers assistant GM Mike Santos said. “If Peter Horachek is available you get him in your organization for whatever the opening is. I believe he’s that kind of coach, that talented.”
Horacek quickly moved up in the Panthers’ system, too, as he took over for Kevin Dineen during this season.
Horachek has done relatively well behind the Panthers bench so far, yet he hasn’t faced many “big” games. This would count as one, at least personally. The game is currently underway, so we’ll see which coach gets bragging rights during their weekly phone calls.
(H/T to Kevin Wilson, who tweeted this post’s main image of the two coaches chatting at the morning skate.)