The Pittsburgh Penguins announced a couple of new hires today. Andy O’Brien has been given the fancy title of Director of Sport Science and Performance, while massage therapist Andreas Hüppi has also joined the club.
In addition, the Penguins plan to hire a strength and conditioning coach to work under O’Brien.
“We are excited to add such highly-regarded specialists as Andy O’Brien and Andreas Hüppi to our staff,” GM Jim Rutherford said in a release. “We want to look at all aspects of how we train and prepare our players, how we can maximize performance and hopefully minimize injuries. We want to make sure they receive the best information available regarding training, nutrition, rehab and getting proper amounts of rest during a long season.”
Nobody in Pittsburgh needs to be reminded how many injuries the Penguins have suffered in recent years. In fact, out of all 30 teams, the website Man Games Lost deemed Pittsburgh the “most impacted by injuries” since 2009-10.
Granted, no trainer or massage therapist can keep a player from experiencing some of the serious health issues with which the Penguins have dealt, including blood clots, stroke, and cancer.
But according to O’Brien, it’s all about establishing “a methodology around how we develop and care for our players.”