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Penguins Will Replace Wilkes-Barre Coaches



Pittsburgh Penguins, WBS Penguins logo

The Pittsburgh Penguins are making a couple of coaching changes.

The changes, though, will be with their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre, where head coach J.D. Forrest and assistant Kevin Porter will not have their contracts renewed.

No replacement for either has been named.

The moves come two days after the Baby Penguins were eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs by losing the first two games in their best-of-three opening-round series against Lehigh Valley.

“Today’s decisions were not easy and we are grateful to J.D. and Kevin for their dedication and hard work over the past eight and four years, respectively,” Penguins assistant general manager Jason Spezza said, in a statement released by the Penguins. “Both are good coaches and, more importantly, excellent people. These decisions come after taking the season to fully evaluate our minor-league and development systems.

“As we enter into an era where each of those systems operating at an elite level becomes paramount to the future of our entire program, we felt it would be best to take this time to make the changes that our management team deems important to reaching our goal of having Wilkes-Barre become the premiere (sic) developer of players and staff that can help the Pittsburgh Penguins win Stanley Cups.”

Spezza, not Wilkes-Barre/Scranton GM Erik Heasley, has been named to head the search for new coaches. Per the Penguins’ press release about Forrest and Porter, “additional changes to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton staff will be announced when a new head coach is named.”