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Penguins hire ‘long-time NHL assistant’ coach Agnew

Jul 10, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

Columbus Blue Jackets 2007 Headshots Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins have tapped Gary Agnew to join Mike Johnston’s staff as an assistant coach.

Agnew spent the last two seasons on Ken Hitchcock’s staff in St. Louis. Before that, the 54-year-old spent four years as Hitchcock’s assistant in Columbus, with one season as head coach of OHL Oshawa in between.

“I am very excited to add Gary Agnew to our coaching staff,” Johnston said in a release. “He is a long-time NHL assistant who has worked with both forwards and defensemen, along with having extensive special team’s experience.

“I like the fact that Gary has also had head coaching experience, including very successful stints in the AHL and at the junior level. Gary has been a career coach and is well known for his communication and teaching abilities.”

Agnew was a head coach in the OHL (London and Kingston) from 1990-2000, after which he spent six seasons as the bench boss of AHL Syracuse.

Related: ‘Something was amiss,’ says former Blues assistant coach Agnew

  1. jpelle82 - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    is jaques martin still on staff, anyone know?

    • c9castine - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      Yes but different capacity may be some sort of advisor or something now they never specified

  2. jkulha86 - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Last time I heard Martin will have a role with the team, but hasn’t been identified yet.

  3. notan9ner - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    When i hear agnew all i think of is hot tub time machine

  4. raleighcaniac - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Doesn’t matter who is on Pens staff. You didn’t get the head coach you really wanted and your GM is Jim Rutherford. I can tell you first hand he will ruin whatever hope you have for the upcoming season.

    • hockey412 - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      Rutherford’s just a pawn at this point, silly.

      Only time will tell whether the coach they thought they had can even pull it together in the NHL. I don’t mind what they’ve put together here, at all.

      • raleighcaniac - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        GM’s actually run the show so certainly not Pawns. See LA, Chicago for examples of what great GMs are capable of. The game has passed Rutherford by, wait and see Pit.

      • hockey412 - Jul 11, 2014 at 9:21 AM

        Again, you’re about two steps behind. Why do you think Pittsburgh would hire someone Rutherford’s age, that has already said publicly he wants out of the day to day? Because they’ve already got their guy as Associate GM, but they are in a stage where there’s some risky work that might need done. Rutherford can retire in two years, or be a fall guy in two years. Botterill will still have the backing of the fans. Catch up, kiddo. Rutherford has no power here.

      • killerpgh - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        If you watch the video here ( ) you can see Rutherford doesn’t have total control/final say. He had to clear the James Neal trade through Mario. Not having total control could be a reason why possible other GM’s weren’t hired.

    • theageofquarrel - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      A Canes fan telling people how to run their franchise?
      When was the last time that team made the playoffs? Even when they played in a weak division like the Southeast.
      Too funny

      • bru308 - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        No, no, dude….. The funniest part is that Jim Rutherford spent 20 years as GM of the Hurricanes. Or maybe you didn’t know that?

        So, as a Hurricanes fan, you think raleighcaniac has a little room to complain about how bad Rutherford has been recently? Probably.

      • raleighcaniac - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        Thanks to Rutherford the Canes have been brutal last 5 years. Hope is high Ronnie Francis can get the situation un-screwed.

        More to your comment about the Canes: Since 2002/3 season Canes have been to two Stanley Cups, losing one to Detroit in 2003 and winning one against Oilers in 2006 and losing Conference finals to Pit in 08/09. I think the following teams would be thrilled with that track record since 2003:

        Caps, Sabres, Jackets,Panthers, Habs, Rangers, Senators, Devils, Flyers, Lightning, Leafs, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Preds, Yotes, Avs, Stars, Wild, Blues, Sharks, did I miss any anyone who hasn’t won a Stanley Cup in the last 10 years?

    • bmscalise - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      GMJR’s moves thus far have been smart, short-term, and directly addressed the terms holes. You can’t equate what Rutherford can do in a stellar market like Pittsburgh with what he could do for a franchise that isn’t close to contending and budget-restricted. Think Ehrhoff would have even considered coming to Carolina for 1yr/4 mil? That Goc, Downie, and Comeau would have all taken 1 yr deals for dirt cheap in Carolina?

      I’ve been really, really pleased with the moves Rutherford and the assistant GMs have made. We’ll see if it’s enough, but I can’t criticize the plan.

      • letsgopens8771 - Jul 10, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        Finally a fellow Pens fan with some sense.

  5. jaybaileys - Jul 10, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    So you bash him, and then rub it in 20 teams faces about their success? I don’t think he was the best choice either but he hasn’t done anything tremendously stupid yet. I wasn’t crazy about the Neal trade, but if the two they got work out so be it. I’m happy about tocchet, and the coach sounds like he has more than “get to our game” in his vocabulary. I like that he didn’t overpay any of departing FA’s and still has time to improve the club.

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