Once a model organization for goaltending performance and depth, the Pittsburgh Penguins play in net has largely gone downhill since the departure of goaltending coach Mike Bales in 2017. His replacement, Mike Buckley, watched as young starters Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry suffered through struggles and was unable to right the ship. The Penguins have decided that it is time for a new voice, especially after failing thus far in free agency to add a veteran mentor for Jarry. The team has announced that Buckley has been relieved of his duties and former Pittsburgh keeper Andy Chiodo has been hired as his replacement. Though new to the job, Chiodo has been with the organization in a development role since 2018. He has also previously worked as a goalie coach in the OHL and Canadian college ranks. Chiodo was considered a high-IQ goaltender during his playing days and will look to take his knowledge of the game and use it to improve the Penguins’ young, inconsistent net.
- Across the state, the Philadelphia Flyers have made some new additions of their own. The team announced that ten new names have joined the organization, five in hockey operations, two to the Flyers’ coaching staff, and three to the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms’ coaching staff. The headliner of the group is veteran executive Mike O’Connell, named Senior Advisor to the General Manager. A former GM of the Boston Bruins, made infamous as the architect of the Joe Thornton trade, O’Connell has quietly made a very positive difference for the Los Angeles Kings for the past 15 year in various roles in scouting and player development. O’Connell contributed to two Stanley Cup champions and has now helped to draft and develop arguably the best prospect pipeline in the NHL. Among the other front office hires were Pro Scout Nick Beverley, who has spent the past 16 years with the Nashville Predators and Amateur Scout Matt Bardsley, a former GM of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. In Lehigh Valley, the team named two assistants to Ian Laperriere’s staff, former WHL coach Jason Smith former ECHL coach Riley Armstrong.
- While the New York Rangers have lost some big names from their front office this off-season, they just poached a notable name for themselves. The Toronto Sun’s Lance Horsby reports that Toronto Maple Leafs Director of Amateur Scouting John Lilley has decided to leave the team to become Director of Player Personnel in New York. Lilley has been with Toronto since 2006, including the past three years as leader of amateur scouting and therefore the Maple Leafs’ drafts. His new title means even more responsibility with the Rangers, though Lilley will still be in charge of amateur scouting and will run the draft. The Maple Leafs have not named a replacement.