Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff has an interesting theory regarding the Wings and John Torchetti’s apparently mutual decision to part ways:
General manager Ken Holland was rewarded with a two-year contract extension. Coach Jeff Blashill will stay in place to finish out the final year of his contract. But you knew someone was going to have to pay the price for the Detroit Red Wings’ second straight absence from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
John Torchetti turned out to be the fall guy.
The Wings decided not to offer assistant coach Torchetti a new contract. The two-year deal he signed with the team in 2016 is about to expire, and the Wings took the step of informing other NHL teams early that Torchetti would not be retained in order to give him a better chance to land work elsewhere.
Torchetti didn’t seem the least bit surprised by this development.
“No, not at all,” Torchetti told Mlive.com. “The only disappointing thing was that I wish I could have did more. I thought that overall, everyone was saying the players were developing, which is a good thing. You just always wish you could do more.
“I signed a two-year deal and one of the good things is, talking it over, I have time to look for another job. I had a good opportunity to work with some young kids, build some good things for the future and wish them the best.”
One of Torchetti’s main duties with the Wings was to oversee the club’s power play, an Achilles heel in their fall from grace the past two seasons.
Duff continues, and I had assumed that Blashill would have to let one or two of his assistant coaches go as part of the we’ll-keep-you bargain.