There have been many changes regarding the top minor league affiliate of the Minnesota Wild. New players coming in, a brand new location much closer to the big club, a new name and, now, they’ll be looking for a new coach. Former Aeros Head Coach John Torchetti has landed a head coaching job with CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League.
“[Sergei] Fedorov is the GM and he’s been great,” Torchetti said. “He came over and talked to me and called me a lot. It’s something new for me and will be a good challenge. They want to win and I’m looking forward to having a chance to win, too.”
According to Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher, “Torch” was given a very significant offer for his services.
“We need a new head coach in Des Moines,” Fletcher said. “I’m hoping this week we can bump into a few people while in New York [for the draft]. Maybe we can talk to two or three people and the following week bring people in.
“I don’t want it to extend forever. It’s an opportunity. It’s going to be a pretty young team there, so the primary focus will be development.”
There are a number of important youngsters in the team’s prospect pool turning pro in Des Moines next season. Talented Swedish netminder Johan Gustafsson, 2012 second round pick Raphael Bussieres and seventh round diamonds in the rough Tyler Graovac and Erik Haula will all be important parts of the team this fall.
Under Torchetti, the Aeros skated to a 75-51-26 record in two seasons, making the playoffs both times. The veteran coach also won the Stanley Cup as an assistant bench boss for the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks championship team.