Former Predators assistant joins the ranks of those seeking work

Barry Trotz has some more competition on the NHL coaching market – and it’s one of his former assistants.

Peter Horachek was relieved of his duties as Florida Panthers interim coach, the Panthers announced Tuesday.

He started last season as coach of the Panthers’ AHL affiliate in San Antonio and was elevated to Florida’s interim head coach when Kevin Dineen was fired one month into the season. The Panthers were 26-36-4 under Horachek.

Florida is now the third NHL team currently in search of a head coach. Nashville and Washington are the others.

“Peter worked very diligently since taking over as interim head coach in November, but at this time we feel that a fresh approach and a new direction is needed behind our bench,” general manager Dale Tallon said in a statement from the team.  “We will immediately begin an extensive search for a new and experienced coach for our franchise, who will guide the Panthers to future success.  We once again thank Peter for all of his hard work and service and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Horachek was an assistant coach and associate head coach under Trotz from 2003 through 2013.