WBS Penguins name Richards head coach

Todd Richards has been named head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, it was announced today by Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero.

Richards, 39, comes to the Penguins after spending the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Admirals. During that time the Admirals made four playoff appearances, advancing to the Calder Cup Finals twice. Milwaukee captured the league’s championship by sweeping the Penguins in four games in 2004.

“Todd was an extremely smart player, and has proven to have one of the brightest young coaching minds in the AHL,” assistant GM Chuck Fletcher said. “His record of success, both as a player and coach, will be a great asset when developing our future in Wilkes-Barre.”

A proven winner at every level, Richards joined the Admirals coaching staff after a successful 13-year professional career.

A defenseman during his playing days, Richards was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round (33rd overall) of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, and began his career with the club’s AHL affiliate in Sherbrooke during the 1989-90 season.

The Crystal, Minn., native was traded to the Hartford Whalers organization early the next season, spending the majority of the campaign with the Springfield Indians, with whom he captured a Calder Cup title in 1991. He also made his NHL debut with the Whalers during the season, recording four assists and two penalty minutes in two games. Richards later won an IHL Turner Cup with Orlando in 2001.

"Todd Richards has been a big reason for the success that the Milwaukee Admirals have had these past three seasons," said Admirals head coach Claude Noel. "He’s a passionate, confident young coach who will be successful in teaching the Penguins prospects how to become good pro players."