Pens promote Sergei Gonchar to assistant coach

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The Pittsburgh Penguins continue to make additions to their coaching staff.

Just days after adding Mark Recchi, the Pens announced that former defenseman Sergei Gonchar is also joining the team as an assistant coach.

The 43-year-old played 1301 NHL games in his career with Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Dallas and Montreal.

Since hanging up his skates in 2015, Gonchar has been serving as the Penguins’ defense development coach.

“Like Mark (Recchi), Sergei brings a wealth of hockey knowledge to our team,” head coach Sullivan said in a release. “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.”

The addition of Gonchar means that they’ll have at least three new faces on the staff next season (they also hired Mike Buckley to be their goalie coach earlier this offseason).

There are openings on the staff because former Pens assistant Rick Tocchet left the team to become the head coach of the Arizona Coyotes.

Related:

“He’s a natural”-Pens believe Recchi will thrive as assistant coach

Tocchet brings lessons from past mistakes (and successes) to Coyotes