When it was announced, Wednesday, that the Penguins had hired WHL head coach Mike Johnson, Todd Reirden was fired, but not for long. Reirden was unemployed for around 8 hours before the Washington Capitals hired him on as an assistant coach. Reirden will take on some responsibilities of Blaine Forsthye, who will remain on the coaching staff as with a lesser role, and Calle Johnansson, who left the team for personal reasons.
Reirden had been with Pittsburgh since 2008, as an assistant coach under Dan Bylsma. He was promoted to head coach at the AHL level when Bylsma took over at Pittsburgh. Reirden has seen 36 of his former players reach the NHL, including 15 defensemen who played in the NHL during the 2013-14 season. While at Pittsburgh he worked closely with the defensive corps, and the Penguin’s powerplay. The Penguins defense was ranked 7th in goals in the 2013-2014 season also sending three players, Olli Maatta, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik, to the Olympics. In three of his four seasons the Penguins defense was top 12 in goals against, 2010-2011, 2012-2013, and 2013-2014. Reiden’s powerplay scored 164 goals and had a 22.3%, the most goals and highest percentage in the NHL since 2011. This season the Penguins were tied second in powerplay goals with 32, only two less than Washington’s 34, and they were tied in powerplay percentage to Washington at 23.4%.
Reirden spent four season in the NHL with four different teams, scoring 11 goals and recording 181 penalty minutes over 183 games.
Reirden is the second addition brought in by Barry Trotz. On Tuesday, Mitch Korn replaced Olie Kolzig as goaltending coach. The Capitals are also linked with a former assistant under Trotz in Nashville, Lane Lambert. Lambert would work with the forwards as well as help with the penalty kill.