Phil Housley could be the next head coach of the New Jersey Devils.
According to Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger, Housley, who is currently an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators, has emerged as the front-runner for the coaching vacancy in New Jersey.
Chere reports GM Ray Shero has also interviewed former Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher, Washington Capitals assistant coach Todd Reirden and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coach John Hynes.
The Devils reportedly interviewed Dan Bylsma before he took the Buffalo Sabres job.
During his playing days Housley spent part of the 1995-96 season with the Devils.
The 51-year-old’s coaching experience includes a gold medal while behind the bench of Team USA at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championship.
On the same day that the Pittsburgh Penguins parted ways with assistant coach Todd Reirden, the Washington Capitals decided to snatch him up in that same capacity.
Reirden was an assistant in Pittsburgh for the past four seasons, mostly working with the team’s defensemen and power-play units. He was also Dan Bylsma’s replacement for two seasons with the team’s AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before joining Bylsma’s staff at the NHL level.
The 43-year-old played 183 NHL games in his career after being a 12th-round pick.
Barry Trotz’s coaching staff is really starting to come together in Washington. Along with adding Reirden, Trotz made sure to bring over his respected goalie coach Mitch Korn from the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.
With the front office picture being clarified, the Capitals can now focus on furnishing Trotz & Co. with the kind of players who align with their vision.
(Main image via the Capitals.)
The Pittsburgh Penguins made the hiring of Mike Johnston as the new head coach official this afternoon and with it there are more changes behind the bench.
The Penguins have hired Rick Tocchet to assist Johnston behind the bench and Tony Granato and Todd Reirden have been let go. Those two assisted Dan Bylsma and now with Johnston in charge, he’s bringing in a new group of assistants with one more coach to be hired. Assistant coach Jacques Martin’s role with the team is yet to be determined and goaltending coach Mike Bales will return.
Tocchet was last seen behind the bench with the Tampa Bay Lightning as the team’s head coach from 2008-2010. Now he’ll make his return to action coaching Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang among others alongside Johnston.
“Rick is going to be a very valuable member of the staff here ,” Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said. “He was an outstanding NHL player, a guy who brought toughness and intensity every night along with a high level of skill. The fans in Pittsburgh know that first-hand. He also gained great experience as a coach with three different NHL organizations. We all know he’s got a lot to offer in his new role with the Penguins.”
Tocchet was also an assistant with the Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, and Phoenix Coyotes.
The Penguins are hoping the playoff version of Rob Scuderi arrives on time for the postseason.
In his first season back in Pittsburgh, Scuderi has had his ups and downs in his play and his health. As Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review shares, Penguins coaches know he can be a difference maker when he’s on his game.
“When he’s playing his best, he settles down our entire (defense),” assistant coach Todd Reirden said Friday. “We brought him back with a purpose in mind, and these are the games we have him for.”
Scuderi’s legend in Pittsburgh is already strong thanks to his play during the 2009 Stanley Cup Final.
His play in helping defend the Penguins net against the Detroit Red Wings earned him the nickname of “The Piece” and this season’s Penguins hope he can provide that kind of defensive leadership again. Having Kris Letang back in the lineup and Paul Martin healthy once again, things are looking up at the right time for the Penguins’ blue line.