Assistant general manager Mike Santos said when Peter Horachek called and said he had been let go after almost a decade as an assistant in Nashville that he all but offered him a job with the Panthers.
It took a little bit of restructuring, but Horachek is now with Florida as head coach of the team's American Hockey League team in San Antonio.
Horachek, former head coach of the Orlando Solar Bears of the defunct IHL as well as the Trenton, N.J., Thunder of the ECHL and AHL Milwaukee, replaces Chuck Weber behind the Rampage bench.
Well, sort of.
Weber, who worked with Horachek in Orlando, Trenton and Milwaukee, remains with the organization as an assistant coach of the Rampage. Weber also becomes director of hockey operations.
Horachek, 53, definitely has ambitions to be a head coach in the NHL and thought being an NHL assistant would help him achieve that. Horachek has been interviewed for NHL jobs recently -- including by the Panthers in 2011. Florida went with current coach Kevin Dineen, who is in the final year of his contract.
"I think, after 10 years of being an assistant in Nashville, it's time for me to be a head coach again,'' said Horachek, who led Orlando to the IHL Turner Cup in 2001.
"I think that's something I do well, working with young players and helping them prepare to be a good pro and prepare for the NHL. I'm familiar with Mike, with Chuck, and I think it's a great setup in San Antonio. There's a lot of good things going on.''
Both Horachek and Weber are expected to be part of the Panthers' development camp in Coral Springs starting Monday. Although still recovering from shoulder surgery, second-overall pick Sasha Barkov will skate at the camp.
"He won't partake in the drills,'' Tallon said, "but we'd like to get him down here to indoctrinated to our staff and the place. These are players he will play with eventually.''