Day after promoting Mark Recchi, Pittsburgh Penguins add Sergei Gonchar to coaching staff

By The Sports Xchange   |   July 12, 2017 at 10:30 PM
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The Pittsburgh Penguins continued to remake their coaching staff a day after top assistant Rick Tocchet left the team to take over the head coaching job with the Arizona Coyotes.

Sergei Gonchar was named a full-time assistant coach on Wednesday, joining Mark Recchi, who was promoted into Tocchet's former role on Tuesday.

"Like Mark, Sergei brings a wealth of hockey knowledge to our team," Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said. "His career is a body of work that speaks for itself. He will naturally transition into a full-time coaching role, building on the experiences and relationships he has already made with our group. He was invaluable during the playoffs, especially in working with our young defensemen."

Gonchar is the third newcomer to join Sullivan's coaching staff, joining Recchi and goaltending coach Mike Buckley. They join holdovers Jacques Martin and video coach Andy Saucier.

Between Gonchar and Recchi -- two former Stanley Cup winners in Pittsburgh as players -- the Penguins added the experience of more than 3,000 combined NHL regular-season and playoff games and eight Stanley Cups to the full-time coaching staff.

Gonchar, 43, had spent the past two seasons working as the Penguins' defenseman development coach. In his new role, Gonchar will be an eye in the sky during games. He will work closely with Sullivan and Recchi on the power play, and Gonchar will assist Martin with the defensemen.

"I'm looking forward to this," Gonchar told dkpittsburghsports.com. "I just enjoy everyone on this team and everyone on this coaching staff. It's a pleasure being around all of these people. I just want to keep getting better as a coach and to help this team as much as I can."

The 49-year-old Recchi spent the past three seasons as the Penguins' player development coach. He will coach the team's forwards.

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