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Reirden promoted; Hynes takes over WBS

The Pittsburgh Penguins have promoted Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach Todd Reirden to assistant coach in Pittsburgh, and WBS assistant coach John Hynes to head coach, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.

Last season was Hynes’ first in the Penguins organization. Hynes, 35, has extensive head coaching experience. Prior to joining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, he spent six seasons as head coach with USA Hockey’s National Development Program, posting an overall record of 216-113-19-9. In 2008-09 he was head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Development Team, going 42-17-6.

Hynes has enjoyed great success on the international stage, leading the U.S. Under-18 national team to three medals at the World Under-18 Championships: gold in 2006; silver in 2004; and bronze in 2008.

The Warwick, R.I., native was head coach of the U.S. national team at the 2008 World Junior Championships, and an assistant coach on the 2004 U.S. team that won a gold medal at the World Junior event.

Hynes played four seasons at Boston University and helped the Terriers win the 1995 national championship. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant to legendary coach Jack Parker at his alma mater. He was also an assistant at UMass-Lowell and the University of Wisconsin before joining USA Hockey’s development program.

Reirden, 38, reunites with Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Byslma. The two worked together in a similar capacity in 2008-09 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, when Bylsma served as head coach and Reirden was an assistant coach prior to Bylsma’s promotion to Pittsburgh. Reirden fills the spot left vacant when Mike Yeo left to become head coach of the Houston Aeros earlier this summer.

Reirden was also part of the Penguins’ extended coaching staff during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup championship in 2009. He was the Penguins’ ‘eye in the sky’ watching games from the media level and then reporting to the coaching staff via headset and during intermissions.

“We interviewed between 10 and 15 candidates and conducted an extensive search, and the most qualified coach was in our organization the whole time,” Bylsma said. “Todd and I have developed a strong working relationship, which started when we played college hockey together at Bowling Green and continued in our time together in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He’s a valuable asset to our coaching staff.”

Last year Reirden, in his first full season as head coach with WBS, led the young and inexperienced team to an impressive 41-34-2-3 record, finishing third in the East Division, and a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Reirden joined the Penguins organization on August 18, 2008 as an assistant coach in Wilkes-Barre, and was promoted to interim head coach following Bylsma’s promotion to Pittsburgh in February 2009. Under Reirden’s guidance, the club finished the season with a 14-9-3 mark in the final 26 games of the regular season and placed third in the East Division. The Penguins defeated Bridgeport in five games in the opening round of the AHL playoffs before falling short in seven games to eventual Calder Cup champion Hershey.

Before joining the Penguins, Reirden served as assistant coach with his alma mater Bowling Green in 2007-08. Reirden and Bylsma were teammates at Bowling Green during the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons.

The Deerfield, Ill., native played 13 professional seasons as a defenseman before retiring after the 2006-07 campaign.