By Tom Venesky
The Times Leader
WILKES-BARRE TWP., Pa. – When Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma began his search for an assistant coach a few weeks ago, he wanted someone who had a passion for the game, a strong work ethic, understood hockey systems and was able to establish strong working relationships.
He found all those qualities in an old friend.
On Monday, the Penguins introduced Todd Reirden as the team’s new assistant coach. Reirden, 37, spent five seasons as a defenseman in the National Hockey League, playing 183 games with the Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Atlanta Thrashers and Phoenix Coyotes. He also spent time in the AHL, IHL and ECHL before retiring in 2007.
But before his professional career, the Deerfield, Illinois native was Bylsma’s teammate from 1990 to 1992 when the two played collegiate hockey at Bowling Green.
That was the start of a friendship that began as players and will continue as coaches.