Penguins Begin Making Changes, Will Not Renew Coaching Contracts For Sergei Gonchar, Jacques Martin and Mark Recchi


Photo: NHL via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced on Wednesday that they would not be renewing  the contracts of assistant coaches Sergei Gonchar, Jacques Martin and Mark Recchi.

FROM PENGUINS MEDIA RELEASE

The Pittsburgh Penguins will not renew the contracts of assistant coaches Sergei Gonchar, Jacques Martin and Mark Recchi, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

“We want to thank Sergei, Jacques and Mark for their many contributions to the Penguins over the years, and wish them well in their future endeavors” Rutherford said.

The search for new assistants to work under head coach Mike Sullivan will begin immediately.

“We are in the process of conducting a review of our organization because we have underperformed in the playoffs the last few years,” Rutherford said. “We just thought we needed to change the dynamic of our coaching staff. We have very high standards here in Pittsburgh, and we want to continue competing for Stanley Cups. The message to our fans is that ‘We are not rebuilding, we’re re-tooling.'”

The contracts of Gonchar, Martin and Recchi expired at the end of June but were temporarily extended for the playoffs.


The move comes a day after general manager Jim Rutherford said change was needed for his team, the Penguins did just that with their coaching staff.

The Penguins were a quick exit in this year’s postseason play, losing their play-in round series to the Montreal Canadiens, who were huge underdogs.

All three coaches were members of the team’s two most recent Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and ‘17.

Gonchar, an all-star defenseman who spent five seasons with the Penguins as a player, rejoined the organization as a defensive development coach in 2015.

Gonchar was the first round pick, 14th overall, of the Washington Capitals in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. Gonchar spent 10 seasons with the Washington Capitals, from 1994 to 2004.

In the 1998–99 season, Gonchar became the first Russian defenseman to score over 20 goals in the regular season. The following season, Gonchar broke the 50-point mark for the first time in his career. He also finished in fifth place in Norris Trophy voting as the NHL’s best defenseman.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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4 Responses to Penguins Begin Making Changes, Will Not Renew Coaching Contracts For Sergei Gonchar, Jacques Martin and Mark Recchi

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    I would think the Capitals have to at least interview Gonchar.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I see the Pens moving Murray and letting JS go

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sullivan is returning.

Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel reply