The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed assistant coach Mike Vellucci to a two-year contract extension running through the 2023-24 season. Vellucci has been with the Penguins organization for three seasons, the last two being with the NHL squad.
The Penguins initially hired Vellucci before the 2019-20 season to be the head coach of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins of the AHL. Vellucci came to the organization off the heels of a Calder Cup Championship with the AHL's Charlotte Checkers in 2018-19.
That was the fourth Championship for Vellucci as a head coach. The others spread throughout his 19 seasons as a junior's head coach between the NAHL's Compuware Ambassadors and the OHL's Plymouth Whalers.
Vellucci has been successful in Pittsburgh as the assistant coach in charge of the forwards and penalty kill. Last season, the Penguins ranked third in penalty kill efficiency, preventing goals on 84.4 percent of opposing teams' opportunities. There were extended periods that the Penguins led in that category with over a 90 percent success rate.
He was interviewed for multiple head coaching vacancies this summer, making it to the final round of interviews for both the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins head coaching positions. Vellucci's stock around the NHL is growing, and it is only a matter of time before he gets his shot as a head coach.
The re-signing of Vellucci rounds out the Penguins coaching staff after Todd Reirden was extended and promoted to "associate coach" late last week. The Penguins are exactly one month out from the opening of the NHL training camp on September 22nd.
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