Saturday, June 30, 2018

Bowling Green's Reirden Takes Over with NHL's Capitals

Todd Reirden (Bowling Green) is the new head coach of the NHL's Washington Capitals. The Illinois native, who has served four years as an assistant or associate coach with the Capitals, takes over the top job after Barry Trotz resigned earlier this month. Trotz subsequently joined the New York Islanders after leading Washington to the first Stanley Cup title in franchise history this spring.

Reirden began his coaching career at BGSU in 2007-08, before moving on to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League as an assistant the following year. After serving as head coach of the WBS Penguins for the next season-and-a-half, he moved up to the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins as an assistant in 2010. He stayed there for four seasons before joining the Caps in 2014 as an assistant, before being promoted to associate head coach in 2016.

A defenseman as a player, Reirden skated four NCAA seasons at BGSU (1990-1994), collecting 25 goals and 51 assists for 76 points to go with 160 penalty minutes for the Falcons. A second-round NHL draft choice of New Jersey in 1990, he turned pro with Tallahassee of the ECHL in 1994-95. He would suit up for two more ECHL teams and three International Hockey League teams before making his NHL debut in 1998-99 with the Edmonton Oilers.

Reirden would go on to skate in 183 career NHL regular season contests for Edmonton, St. Louis, Atlanta and Phoenix, tallying 11-35—46 points and 181 PIM. He also played for five different AHL teams before concluding his career in Austria in 2006-07.

Reirden, 47, becomes the second former Central Collegiate Hockey Association player to become an NHL head coach this off-season. He joins Rod Brind'Amour (Michigan State), who is now head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes.

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