The Florida Panthers decided to move on from interim head coach Peter Horachek on Tuesday, and will begin a search for his replacement immediately.
Horachek took over the Panthers on November 8, 2013 following the dismissal of Kevin Dineen and Florida went 26-36-4 the rest of the way. The announcement of Horachek's own dismissal was made by Dale Tallon, the general manager of the Panthers. Tallon focused on experience while fielding questions as to the reasons for the termination.
"We needed someone with more NHL coaching experience, that was the reason behind this," Tallon said.
Horachek had coached the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League prior to taking over the Panthers. Tallon confirmed that Horachek will not be offered another job in the organization. A return to the AHL is possible if he is unable to find suitable employment in the NHL, but it is unlikely to come with a Panthers affiliate at this time. Horachek's only NHL coaching experience prior to Florida was as an assistant coach in Nashville.
As for whom the Panthers will target as the new head coach, that remains to be seen but the team is not writing any candidates off. The search will likely be widespread as the team looks for someone to lead them back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
"We're going to identify the guys that are available and get the best candidate who has the most experience," Tallon added.