Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ron Hextall announced that the team has re-signed assistant coach Mike Vellucci to a two-year contract extension. See the full press release below.
Penguins Re-Sign Assistant Coach Mike Vellucci to a Two-Year Extension
The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed assistant coach Mike Vellucci to a two-year contract extension, it was announced today by general manager Ron Hextall.
“Mike is a dedicated coach who has proven to be a valuable addition since joining Pittsburgh,” said Hextall. “We’re excited to have him back behind the bench for two more seasons.”
Vellucci, 56, has spent the past two seasons as Pittsburgh’s assistant coach, overseeing the team’s forwards and penalty killing unit. Last season, the Penguins’ penalty kill finished third in the NHL with an 84.4% success rate, and is ninth overall in the league (81.5%) since Vellucci joined the team in 2020. Vellucci has helped the Penguins to an 83-41-14 record since 2020, with their .652 winning percentage ranking seventh-best in the league in that span.
He originally joined the Penguins organization in 2019-20, where he spent one season as the general manager and head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, helping them to a 29-26-3-5 record in 63 games. In total, eight of Vellucci's players at the AHL level saw action with Pittsburgh that season, and 14 of them have seen NHL action with various teams since.
The Farmington, Michigan native spent five seasons as the assistant general manager and director of hockey operations for the Carolina Hurricanes from 2014-19, where he oversaw player development and scouting. During the 2017-19 seasons, Vellucci also served as the Charlotte Checkers' head coach where he compiled a record of 97-43-8-4 in 152 games.
Vellucci was instrumental to the success of the Carolina organization in 2018-19, leading the Checkers to a Calder Cup Championship after compiling the league's best regular-season record (51-17-7-1) and winning the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award for AHL Coach of the Year.
Prior to his time with the Hurricanes organization, Vellucci spent 14 seasons in the same dual role as general manager and head coach of the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL from 2001-14. He became the first to receive both the OHL Executive of the Year award and OHL Coach of the Year award in the same season in 2012-13. He also won the Coach of the Year award during the Whalers' 2006-07 championship season.