WILKES-BARRE, PA – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins head coach Todd Reirden, who guided the team to its eighth consecutive berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs last season, has been promoted to assistant coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was announced on Saturday by Executive Vice President/General Manager Ray Shero.
Additionally, John Hynes, who served as Reirden’s assistant coach last year, has been promoted to head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The move reunites Reirden, 39, with Penguins head coach Dan Byslma. The two worked together in a similar capacity in 2008-09 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, when Bylsma served as the AHL club’s head coach and Reirden was an assistant coach.
Reirden was also part of the Penguins’ extended coaching staff during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup championship in 2009. He was the Penguins’ ‘eye in the sky’ watching games from the media level and then reporting to the coaching staff via headset and during intermissions.
“We interviewed between 10 and 15 candidates and conducted an extensive search, and the most qualified coach was in our organization the whole time,” Bylsma said. “Todd and I have developed a strong working relationship, which started when we played college hockey together at Bowling Green and continued in our time together in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He’s a valuable asset to our coaching staff.”
Reirden joined the Penguins organization on August 18, 2008 as an assistant coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and was named interim head coach of AHL club in February, 2009, when Bylsma was promoted to head coach in Pittsburgh. He led the Penguins to a 14-9-2-1 record in the final 26 games of 2008-09, and posted a 41-34-2-3 record in his first full season behind the bench.
“Todd has been a tremendous asset to the organization, and has helped develop many of the players who figure to play significant roles with Pittsburgh in the near future,” said Wilkes-Barre/Scranton CEO Jeff Barrett. “The aim of everybody in the AHL – players and coaches alike – is to move up the ladder to the NHL. This is a tremendous opportunity for Todd, and we couldn’t be happier for him.”
Before joining the Penguins, Reirden served as assistant coach with his alma mater Bowling Green in 2007-08.
Selected by the New Jersey Devils in the 12th round (242nd overall) of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, Reirden appeared in 183 NHL games with Edmonton, St. Louis, Atlanta and Phoenix between 1998 and 2004. He totaled 46 points (11G-35A) and 181 penalty minutes during his NHL career. The blueliner saw action in 533 additional games in the AHL, IHL and ECHL during his career.
Hynes, 35, joined the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coaching staff last season, and spent the six seasons prior to that as a head coach with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, posting an overall record of 216-113-19-9. In 2008-09 he was head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Development Team, which posted a 42-17-6 record.
“John is a tireless worker, and his track record as a head coach as a member of USA Hockey speaks for itself,” said Barrett. “This past season gave him the opportunity to learn the organization’s players and systems, and will make his transition to the head coaching position with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton that much more seamless.”
Hynes has enjoyed great success on the international stage, leading the U.S. Under-18 national team to three medals at the World Under-18 Championships – gold in 2006, silver in 2004 and bronze in 2008.
He was head coach of the U.S. national team at the 2008 World Junior championships, and was an assistant coach on the 2004 U.S. team that won a gold medal at the World Junior event.
The native of Warwick, R.I. played four seasons at Boston University and helped the Terriers to the 1995 national championship. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant to legendary Jack Parker at his alma mater, and also was an assistant at UMass-Lowell and the University of Wisconsin before joining USA Hockey’s development program.
The search for an assistant coach for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will start in the near future.