Todd Reirden is one step closer to becoming the next head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Late last week, the Pens’ announced that they signed the former Capitals bench boss to a two-year extension and promoted him from assistant coach to associate coach.
Reirden has been with the Pens since getting fired by the Caps after the 2019-20 season.
The Penguins have promoted Todd Reirden to associate coach and have signed him to a two-year contract extension. https://t.co/GSK8v2A7qX
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) August 18, 2022
“Todd plays an important role on our coaching staff,” Pens general manager Ron Hextall said in a press release. “He’s had a proven impact on the defensemen and contributes to the coaching staff as a whole with his wealth of knowledge from over a decade as an NHL coach. We are excited to extend his contract.”
Reirden was an assistant coach with the Caps from 2014 to 2016 before earning the same ‘associate coach’ promotion under Barry Trotz. Reirden won a Stanley Cup with Trotz in 2018 before being getting promoted again after Barry resigned. Reirden led the team to an 89-46-16 record and left the position with the third-highest point percentage in franchise history (.642).
“As a coaching staff we value Todd’s knowledge, experience, and passion for the game,” added Pens head coach Mike Sullivan. “He challenges us, as coaches, to be better every day and his relationships with the players are invaluable. He is deserving of this promotion and we are excited for him.”
The 51-year-old Reirden oversees the Penguins’ defensive group and power-play unit. During the 2021-22 season, the team’s power play finished 19th overall (20.2-percent) in the NHL after finishing fourth (23.7-percent) the year before.
This is Reirden’s second tour in the Pittsburgh organization. Reirden’s first stint saw him start as an assistant with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2008 and end up with a four-year tenure as a Pens assistant from 2010 to 2014.
According to the Pens, since becoming an NHL coach in 2010, Reirden has helped his team to the postseason as either head or assistant/associate coach for 12 consecutive seasons, a feat no other NHL coach (head/assistant/associate/goalie) has accomplished.
Here’s the full press release from the team:
Penguins Promote Todd Reirden to Associate Coach
The Pittsburgh Penguins have promoted Todd Reirden to associate coach and signed him to a two-year contract extension, it was announced today by general manager Ron Hextall.
“Todd plays an important role on our coaching staff,” said Hextall. “He’s had a proven impact on the defensemen and contributes to the coaching staff as a whole with his wealth of knowledge from over a decade as an NHL coach. We are excited to extend his contract.”
Reirden, 51, has served as the Penguins’ assistant coach since 2020 and oversees the team’s defensive group and power-play unit. Under his guidance, the Penguins’ power play (23.7%) finished fourth-best in the league in 2020-21, and their goals-against average (2.71) ranked fifth-best in the NHL in 2021-22. The 12-year NHL coaching veteran has helped the Penguins to an 83-41-14 record since 2020, with their .652 winning percentage ranking seventh-best in the league in that span.
“As a coaching staff we value Todd’s knowledge, experience and passion for the game,” said head coach Mike Sullivan. “He challenges us, as coaches, to be better every day and his relationships with the players are invaluable. He is deserving of this promotion and we are excited for him.”
Prior to Pittsburgh, Reirden, a Deerfield, Illinois native, spent six seasons on the Washington Capitals coaching staff, serving as head coach from 2018-20. He was an assistant coach from 2014-16, and associate coach from 2016-18, where he helped the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history in 2018.
Reirden is currently on his second tour of duty with Pittsburgh, as he was an assistant coach with the Penguins from 2010-14, where he assumed a similar role, working with the team’s defensemen and power-play units. From 2010-14, only the Washington Capitals (20.7%) and San Jose Sharks (20.5%) had a better power-play success rate than the Penguins’ 20.3%. He earned his first Stanley Cup ring while serving as Pittsburgh’s ‘eye in the sky’ during its 2009 championship run.
While under Reirden’s tutelage, alternate captain Kris Letang has played some of the best hockey of his career, including a career year in 2021-22 when the defenseman set career highs in assists (58) and points (68). In 338 games with Reirden as a coach in Pittsburgh, Letang has averaged 0.78 points per game, which is 0.09 higher than his career average of 0.69. Letang is also a combined plus-83 over six seasons with Reirden, and was named a Norris Trophy finalist in 2012-13.
Since becoming an NHL coach in 2010-11, Reirden holds a 564-262-85 record and a .667 points percentage. He has helped his team to the postseason as either head or assistant/associate coach for 12-consecutive seasons (PIT – 2011-14, 2021-22; WSH – 2015-20), a feat no other NHL coach (head/assistant/associate/goalie) has accomplished.
In 12 NHL seasons as an NHL coach, Reirden has two Stanley Cup championships (2009, PIT; 2018, WSH), nine 100-point campaigns in nine 82-game seasons and 66 playoff wins in 12 postseason appearances. His teams have ranked in the NHL’s top-5 for power-play percentage in seven seasons, and have finished in the top-10 for goals-against average in six seasons.
Before making the jump to the NHL, Reirden spent three years with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins from 2008-10 as both an assistant coach and head coach.
Reirden was named an assistant coach of the 2022 United States Men’s Olympic Hockey Team, but did not attend due to the NHL not participating in the 2022 Games.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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