Former NHL goaltender Darren Pang has made a name for himself as a TV analyst for the last several years, but tonight he dropped a bombshell for Nashville Predators fans:
In advance of #Preds announcing this: I am floored that Ass't Coach Peter Horachek has been fired today. He and Trotz have been great.— Darren R Pang (@Panger40) May 21, 2013
Horachek was my captain for 2 years in Saginaw (IHL) and has been a terrific coach for many yrs at all levels. Interviewed for HC jobs...— Darren R Pang (@Panger40) May 21, 2013
....in NHL the last few years. Had to be a tough call for Trotz to make as they have great relationship and success together. #greatrun— Darren R Pang (@Panger40) May 21, 2013
Horachek was approaching 10 years with the Predators, having been hired on June 19, 2003, first as an assistant coach, then becoming an associate coach before the 2011-2012 season.
This news has not yet been confirmed by the Preds.
At times over the years Horachek had drawn the ire of Predators fans frustrated over the team's long-standing troubles on the power play, but in recent years his popularity received a nice boost thanks to the Twitter stylings of J.R. Lind, who turned Horachek's sometimes-frosty intermission interviews into hilarious bits that injected some levity during the middle of some pretty depressing games:
"You've got have a certain kind of backbone." - Peter Horachek, pulls out an actual backbone from his bag.— J.R. Lind (@jrlind) January 25, 2013
"they scored five goals in 14 shots. i once hit five squirrels with 14 daggers i fashioned out of old silverware" - horachek— J.R. Lind (@jrlind) March 15, 2013
"Craig Smith needs to grow. Been feeding him a Horachek omelet: six-month old cheese and rusted car parts" - Horachek— J.R. Lind (@jrlind) March 1, 2013
First Marcel Goc, then Anders Lindback, now Peter Horachek. My advice to the Nashville Predators? Don't let J.R. Lind connect to you on Twitter!
A Rare Firing in Smashville
The Predators have been known for stability behind the bench, as the last time a coach was removed by the team was the very situation which created the opening to hire Horachek. Back in April of 2003, assistant coach Paul Gardner was "reassigned" as a pro scout. Since that time, the only other coaching change in Nashville came in June 2011, as Brent Peterson stepped down from on-ice coaching, to be replaced by Lane Lambert.