Penguins sign assistant coaches to extensions
There was no indication of developments involving players, but the Penguins announced Tuesday that they have signed assistant coaches Tony Granato, Todd Reirden and Gilles Meloche, strength coach Mike Kadar, minor league coach John Hynes and minor league assistant Alain Nasreddine to multiyear contract extensions.
Head coach Dan Bylsma signed a three-year contract extension in March.
The three NHL assistants helped the Penguins finish with 106 points despite long-term injuries to key players, including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal.
Hynes and Nasreddine led the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to first place in the American Hockey League in the regular season, and Hynes was named AHL coach of the year.
The only blemish on the Penguins' NHL coaching staff might be the poor performance of the power play -- particularly in the playoffs, when it was 1 for 35 in a seven-game, first-round loss to Tampa Bay. Bylsma took over a lot of the responsibility for that in 2010-11, and he is a candidate, and maybe the favorite, for coach of the year based on everything else he did during the injury-ravaged season.
At the moment, the Penguins have seven unrestricted free agents and two restricted free agents that they have at least some interest in retaining. Free agency kicks in July 1.
First Published June 8, 2011 12:00 am