Recchi replaces Tocchet as assistant coach in Pittsburgh

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The Pittsburgh Penguins wasted no time in finding a replacement for Rick Tocchet on their coaching staff.

The team announced on Tuesday that Mark Recchi will take over the spot vacated when Tocchet left to become the new head coach of the Arizona Coyotes.

Over the past three seasons Recchi worked with the Penguins as their player development coach. According to the Penguins, Recchi will take over Tocchet’s responsibilities, including working with the team’s forwards and running their power play unit. This will be his first job as an NHL coach.

“I would like to thank Rick Tocchet for his invaluable contributions to our team over the last three years,” general manager Jim Rutherford said in a team statement. “Rick has done a terrific job for us, and we wish him the best as a head coach. Mark Recchi will be a tremendous addition to our coaching staff. His recent history with the organization, especially with our players and coaches, and his incredible knowledge of the game, will help to ensure a seamless transition. It’s only fitting that he starts his NHL coaching career the same year he is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.”

It is kind of fitting that Recchi will be the one replacing Tocchet behind the bench as Tocchet arrived as a player in Pittsburgh back in 1992 in a trade involving Recchi going the other way. Now Recchi steps in to replace him as a coach.

Recchi played for the Penguins on three different occasions throughout his career, winning the first of his three Stanley Cups in 1991.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this summer after a career that saw him score 577 goals, record 1,533 total points and contribute to three championship teams.