Pittsburgh Penguins Add Sergei Gonchar To The Coaching Staff

By Larry Snyder

The Pittsburgh Penguins disclosed Tuesday afternoon that former player Sergei Gonchar, 41, has agreed to join the coaching staff as a defenseman development coach.

The Chelyabinsk, Russia native has been assigned to work with the team’s blueliners at the National Hockey League level and throughout the Pens farm system. The former alternate captain will also scout European tournaments for the organization. He is scheduled to join the squad Saturday when the Pens take on the Maple Leafs in Toronto.

Over the course of 322 career regular-season contests with the Penguins, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound member of the blue line crew recorded 54 goals and 205 assists for a total of 259 points. It is the sixth-highest point total among defensemen in team history. The duo of Larry Murphy and Kris Letang have accumulated more postseason points than Gonchar’s seven goals and 37 assists for 44 points. He contributed to the Penguins claiming the Stanley Cup championship during the 2008-2009 season.

The former No. 1 draft pick of the Washington Capitals in the 1992 NHL Draft participated in 1,301 career games with Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Dallas and Montreal. He ranks 17th all-time among NHL defensemen in games played. Gonchar had 220 goals and 591 assists for 811 regular-season points in a 20-year NHL career. He put up 22 goals and 68 assists for 90 points in 141 playoff contests.

“After it didn’t work out in training camp, (Pens general manager) Jim (Rutherford) approached me and asked me to think about working for them,” Gonchar told Sam Kasan on the team’s website. “I took some time and made a decision that I wanted to be a part of this club.”

Gonchar continued, “I’m excited to be a part of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. I want to do something in hockey. I’m really happy that it’s Pittsburgh.”

The Penguins (4-4-0, 8 points) are back on the ice Wednesday as they skate against the Capitals (6-1-0, 12 points) in Washington. The Metropolitan Division rivals meet at 8:00 p.m. ET at center ice. You can catch every puck drop on the NBC Sports Network.

Beyond The Boards: Jenn Menendez and Seth Rorabaugh of the Post-Gazette reported that the team elected 27-year-old center Nick Bonino as their player representative to the NHL Players’ Association.