• PRINT
  • RSS

Kitchen Enthused With New Role

Monday, 08.13.2007 / 6:00 PM ET / News
Florida Panthers
X
Share with your Friends


Kitchen Enthused With New Role
Mike Kitchen (Getty Images)
By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com


Mike Kitchen isn’t holding back his enthusiasm when discussing the Panthers.

“I’m excited,” said Kitchen, the former head coach of the St. Louis Blues who was named Monday the Panthers’ assistant coach by GM and coach Jacques Martin.

“Florida is a good, young team and they’ve been right there the past couple years. They’re just on the edge of breaking out, and I think that’s going to be this year.”

Kitchen, a defensemen for eight seasons in the NHL and who has coached all-stars Chris Pronger and Al MacInnis, will work primarily with Panther defensemen. It’s a job he’s anxious to start.

“I think you start with (Tomas) Vokoun,” Kitchen said. “Any team that has success in the playoffs has a workhorse in goal and I think Tomas is a top goalie. Then, on the blue line, you look at (Jay) Bouwmeester. He’s coming off a real, solid year. He reminds me of a young Chris Pronger. I’m not comparing (Bouwmeester) to him but he’s just going to be a guy who gets better and who always wants to be the best on the ice every shift, every game.

“Bryan Allen has really started to come into his own. (Ruslan) Salei is a veteran. I coached Mike Van Ryn in St. Louis, and he has a great set of wheels and great mobility.”

Kitchen, who played for the New Jersey Devils (1982-84) and Colorado Rockies (1976-81), comes to the Panthers after having spent his 18 previous seasons in coaching with only two other organizations. He was an assistant coach with the Maple Leafs from 1990-98 before heading to St. Louis, where he served as an assistant coach from 1998-2004 before becoming head coach on Feb. 24, 2004.

“I guess in this sport, with it being so volatile, to spend nine years in Toronto and nine in St. Louis is something that doesn’t always happen,” he said. “I’m just happy it’s something that’s worked out for my family.”

Kitchen and Martin have never worked together, but both have respect for each other.

“The fact he’s been with only two organizations in 18 years speaks very highly of his character,” Martin said. “He’s worked under a number of head coaches in Toronto, including Doug Carpenter, Tom Watt, Pat Burns and Mike Murphy. He worked with Joel Quenneville in St. Louis. The fact he played defense was a positive because I wanted someone to coach who had played the position. He can be more of a mentor to our young defensemen.

“Another aspect in hiring Mike was his upbeat personality. I think he can be a nice bridge between myself and the players.”

When asked about hiring someone he hadn’t worked with before, Martin replied; “I think it’s good sometimes to get someone with new ideas, fresh ideas. I also think he’ll be a good fit with (assistant coach) Guy (Charron).”

Born in Schomberg, Ont., approximately 40 minutes north of Toronto, Kitchen started playing hockey when he was five along with brothers Bill and Keith. He won the Memorial Cup in 1975 with the Toronto Marlboros and was the 38th overall selection in the 1976 Entry Draft by the Kansas City Scouts, who that summer moved to Colorado.

Kitchen eventually played in 474 NHL games. His brother Bill played with Montreal and Toronto while his brother Keith was drafted by Peterborough before an injury shortened his career.

Click Here to Discuss Article

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
FloridaPanthers.com is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and floridapanthers.com are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.