Chicago Sun-Times

Torchetti leaves Hawks for Thrashers

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It's been speculated for weeks that assistant coach John Torchetti would leave the Blackhawks for the Atlanta Thrashers.

It became official on Thursday.

Torchetti leaves the Hawks after three years as an assistant under former coach Denis Savard and coach Joel Quenneville. Torchetti was named an assistant coach for the Hawks on May 15, 2007. He will be an associate coach for the Thrashers.

"The entire organization would like to wish John well with the Thrashers and all of his future endeavors," Hawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "We appreciate all of his work during his three years on staff, including being a part of our Stanley Cup Championship team."

Torchetti joins former Hawks assistant GM Rick Dudley, Atlanta's current GM, in a new city for the fourth time. The two were also together with the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. Dudley also coached Torchetti as a player.

Torchetti was considered a candidate for the Thrashers' head coaching vacancy. Dudley received permission from the Hawks in mid-June to speak with Torchetti. Dudley eventually tabbed Craig Ramsay as his head coach, but Torchetti always remained an option as an assistant. Torchetti worked with Ramsay in Tampa Bay.

Dudley recently acquired Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Andrew Ladd from the Hawks.

"I've known John for several years and he is a highly-talented and extremely knowledgeable individual," Dudley said in a statement. "He is an excellent coach who will strengthen Craig's staff and we're fortunate to have him as part of our organization."

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times for more than four years, covering the Hawks, Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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