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Wrap: Penguins Make Reirden Associate Coach, Kadri-Flames Swerve



Pittsburgh Penguins, Todd Reirden

Pandora’s Box opened on Thursday afternoon. Despite numerous reports, the New York Islanders couldn’t move salary and lost their big fish when Nazem Kadri couldn’t wait any longer. Kadri signed with the Calgary Flames, who flipped Sean Monahan to the Montreal Canadiens. The NHL took the awards from Las Vegas and will hold both the draft and awards show in Nashville. And the Pittsburgh Penguins added several persons to their training staff and promoted Todd Reirden to associate head coach.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins made a little bit of news on Thursday afternoon, and it seems they are borrowing from the NBA.

First, the Penguins elevated assistant coach Todd Reirden to associate head coach and gave him a new two-year contract.

“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 works with the Penguins defensemen and the power play.

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.”

Medical Staff:

According to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ release:

The Penguins hired Jesse Green as director of performance & sport science and Jason Meehan as director of reconditioning and promoted Brandon Mazza to performance therapist/athletic trainer. Mazza will work with the WBS Penguins.

Green, 28, spent the past four years with the Sacramento Kings. According to the Penguins release, he managed the implementation of data-informed team and player management strategies in the weight room and on the court, integrating a variety of sports technologies.

Prior to Sacramento, Green was a Performance Coach and Sport Scientist at the University of Louisville, where he embedded wearable technologies and managed data analysis and reporting for multiple Cardinals teams, playing a key role in the 2018 Final 4 appearance of the women’s basketball program.

Meehan, 49, will oversee the reconditioning arm of the Performance Team, managing the return to performance programming for injured players. He will also report directly to Teena Murray, the Penguins’ senior vice president of integrated performance. He joins the Penguins from Canada Basketball and the University of Toronto.

An experienced athletic therapist, Meehan has worked closely with many of the NBA’s top Canadian players, including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder) and RJ Barrett (New York Knicks). Highly regarded for his performance therapy skills, Meehan is a certified athletic therapist, kinesiologist, massage therapist, and medical acupuncturist. Since 2011, Meehan has been the Head Therapist for Canada Basketball’s Senior Men’s National Team and has been a leader within Canada Basketball’s Integrated Performance Team, supporting the junior and cadet national team programs.

Mazza, 36, has been promoted to performance therapist/assistant athletic trainer after spending the last 12 years as the Penguins’ associate athletic trainer.

From 2008-21, Mazza served as an athletic trainer for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he provided athletic training services for UPMC Sports Medicine, educated athletes on injury and preventative measures, and provided strength and conditioning consultation for athletes. In addition, Mazza managed the athletic training staff and physician coverage for Pittsburgh Public Schools.

NHL Wrap:

Didn’t see that Kadri swerve coming. You won’t have to go to Las Vegas next June to see the draft. Polish your cowboy boots, get ready for some Jack’s BBQ, and a mule kicker at Acme Hardware. The NHL will hold the 2023 NHL Draft and NHL Awards in Nashville.

Calgary Hockey Now: Nazem Kadri was the last big-money player on the UFA market. The long-rumored deal between the Islanders and Kadri apparently fizzled. New York wasn’t able to move salary. Kadri signed with the Calgary Flames.

Montreal Hockey Now: As of publishing, the full details are not yet known. To make room for Kadri, the Flames then traded struggling center Sean Monahan AND a first-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens.

NYI Hockey Now: Swing and a miss! Nazem Kadri isn’t coming to the Metro Division. New York has three RFAs waiting for contracts, including Noah Dobson. The New York Islanders didn’t get their man.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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[…] Pittsburgh: The Penguins promoted Todd Reirden from assistant coach to associate coach. Pittsburgh Penguins […]


[…] Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins made two three hirings on Thursday.. First, the Penguins elevated assistant coach Todd Reirden to associate head coach and gave him a new two-year contract. Then they hired Jesse Green as director of performance & sport science and Jason Meehan as director of reconditioning, both who have worked in basketball. Pittsburgh Penguins. […]

1 month ago

The defense and PP have been chronic underachievers here. Can you say “Failing Upward”, girls and boys?


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