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Penguins Re-Sign Assistant Coach Vellucci

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NHL trade chatter, Pittsburgh Penguins Mike Vellucci

Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Mike Vellucci was a serious contender for several head-coaching jobs around the NHL this summer.

Considering how highly regarded he is in hockey circles, Vellucci probably will continue to be until he finally lands one of those positions, too.

But he will be with the Penguins for at least a bit longer, after accepting a two-year contract extension Monday.

Vellucci, 56, oversees the Penguins’ forwards and penalty-killing unit. He joined the organization in 2020 after leading Carolina’s American Hockey League affiliate in Charlotte to the Calder Cup championship.

“Mike is a dedicated coach who has proven to be a valuable addition since joining Pittsburgh,” Ron Hextall said, in a statement released by the team. “We’re excited to have him back behind the bench for two more seasons.”

Although it is not known whether Vellucci’s contract includes a clause that explicitly allows him to leave for a head-coaching position elsewhere, NHL teams rarely, if ever, stop assistants from accepting a promotion with another club.

Vellucci’s new deal comes just a few days after the Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed Todd Reirden and promoted him from assistant to associate coach.

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