Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Florida Panthers Facebook Florida Panthers Twitter Florida Panthers Google+ Florida Panthers Pintrest Florida Panthers Instagram Florida Panthers

A First Impression For Horachek

New San Antonio head coach Peter Horachek was excited to get started with his new organization as Development Camp got underway.

Tuesday, 07.09.2013 / 5:20 PM / News
By Glenn Odebralski  -
Share with your Friends

A First Impression For Horachek
New San Antonio head coach Peter Horachek draws out a drill on Day 2 of Development Camp at Iceplex.

When it comes to hockey camps, Peter Horachek has seen his fair share.

But when asked on Tuesday, the Panthers newest coach to the organization felt a little like one of the prospects who were drafted just over a week ago in New Jersey.

“From my standpoint it's really getting to know the players, getting to know their characteristics, their strengths, their weaknesses, what stands out, a little bit of their personalities so I can recognize them,” said Horachek. “I still have to ask who that (player) is. I think that it's been really good for me.”

Named as San Antonio’s new head coach last month, Horachek was out there running drills on the second day of Development Camp. And while he was still trying to put faces and numbers to the players names on the roster sheets, the man in charge of helping develop the Panthers prospects at the American Hockey League level was pretty happy with the first few days of practices.

“I think the ice got better today and I think the practices were pretty decent,” said Horacheck. “The guys really seemed to pay attention, want to do the right things. I think it's been a pretty decent first two days.”

Horachek has a wealth of knowledge to provide the Panthers and their young players. He spent the past nine seasons in Nashville under Barry Trotz as an assistant and associate coach. Before that he was a head coach at the minor levels, including with Milwaukee in the AHL.

“You just take all your experiences of 10 years with Barry and I've run my own teams before that,” said Horachek. Going back to being a head coach again, I think that's a good experience for me.”

The Stoney Creek, Ont native has been in the coaching game since 1987 when he was an assistant for the IHL’s Saginaw Hawks so he’s seen a lot of players come and go. When it comes to the Panthers group, the talent that Panthers GM Dale Tallon and Assistant GM Mike Santos have put together has him excited.

“They scouted very well, they've got some very talented young players and they're good players,” said Horachek. “They've got really good character to them.”

And what was the thing that caught Horachek’s eye?

“One of the first things I noticed, coming in on Sunday and walking in the room, I was like 'wow there's some really big guys here',” said Horachek.

Players like Nick Bjugstad (6’6), Alex Petrovic (6’4) and Drew Shore (6’3) all met the newest coach and over the last two days have been put through drills by the coaching staff, including Horachek. It’s definitely a chance for them to make a great impression, especially for those that will be seeing time in the AHL this upcoming season.

“Working with the kids and seeing their developing to a point where they're ready to play in the NHL. Some guys are close and some guys need a little bit more time,” said Horachek. “You know they are going to be players. They're going to be NHL players but when and how long is it going to take so that's the exciting part.”

Florida has gained a lot of attention from around the world on the Panthers prospect pool. While that may be good to a degree, Horachek is focused on the intangibles that Tallon, Santos and the rest of the scouting staff have put together for him to work with.

“Just the quality of people. I think that's the key,” said Horachek on what he’s noticed so far. “It's too early to make a decision on people. You watch a guy in a skills practice in a non-hockey environment; it's just really about his technique. Having one practice today, it's really just too early to see that so I'm just noticing that the kids seem to be good people.

“That's where it starts and that's the key, you don't really have any bad apples.”

And as far as Development Camp goes, these camps are extremely crucial for those 18-22 year olds. It’s a chance to start on the right foot.

“I think camps like this help the kids help make that first development stage to turn into a pro,” said Horachek. “It's a big jump from going from junior and college and Europe to even the American League. It's a big jump going from the American League to the NHL.”

From learning about the on-ice skills to off-the ice, holding camps just makes for a better all-around pro.

“Learning how to be accountable, learning how to be a pro, learning how to bond with their teammates, these guys are all coming in at the same time,” said Horachek. “They're getting to know each other. When they are all together at one time on the big club, they're already close and they've already got that kind of bond. These things help with that.

“They should just soak it all in and take advantage.”

And when he’s talking about soaking it all in, for this camp at least, he’s just not talking about the young Panthers.

“It will be a great experience. I'm looking forward to it and looking forward to coming into a new situation and getting to know everybody,” said Horachek. “I'm still kind of feeling my way around in how people do things and how they run things but it's been great. I've enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to it as it goes along.”




1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31


N. Bjugstad 46 16 13 -1 29
A. Ekblad 46 7 21 6 28
J. Huberdeau 43 9 17 1 26
J. Jokinen 45 4 21 -3 25
B. Boyes 44 10 12 2 22
J. Hayes 38 13 7 1 20
S. Bergenheim 35 8 9 2 17
A. Barkov 35 5 10 -5 15
B. Campbell 46 3 11 -1 14
D. Kulikov 41 1 13 -3 14
R. Luongo 18 11 8 .920 2.42
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .891 2.96 is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and 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 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 © 1999-2015 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.