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Penguins name Mullen coach

Hockey Hall of Famer Joe Mullen will take over the head coaching duties for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, it was announced today by Penguins CEO Jeff Barrett.

Additionally, the team will continue to look for an additional assistant to work on Mullen’s staff.

“It was important to bring someone into the coaching position that is familiar with all of the players in the organization, as well as the systems that Michel Therrien has implemented in Wilkes-Barre in the past," said Barrett. "We are confident that Joey will continue to build on the foundation that Therrien and Mike Yeo laid here during the last two seasons.”

Born in New York City, Mullen, 48, played four seasons at Boston College, serving as team captain during his senior season of 1978-79. He signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Blues in 1979, and was named Rookie of the Year (1979-80) and MVP (1980-81) in the old Central Hockey League skating for Salt Lake.

Mullen went on to skate in 1,062 NHL games with St. Louis, Calgary, Pittsburgh and Boston, becoming the first American-born player to reach two career milestones: 500 goals and 1,000 points. He won three Stanley Cup championships, with the Flames in 1989 and with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992.

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000, Mullen spent four seasons as an assistant coach in Pittsburgh. Following last week’s restructuring of the Penguins’ coaching staff, Mullen joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as an interim co-coach with Rick Kehoe, and guided the Pens to a 2-1-0 record in three games.