One thing is for sure, changes are coming to the Pittsburgh Penguins this summer. After falling flat in the Eastern Conference finals, the team many expected to at least play for the Cup (if not win it) needs to make some changes and adjustments as they look to make another run at it next year.
Gilles Meloche won't return has the Penguins goalie coach. He knew it was his last season. He'll do some pro scouting for the team. #RDS— Renaud Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) June 11, 2013
Meloche has been with the Penguins since 1989 and has switched jobs between scout, goalie coach, consultant, scout back and forth over the years, but has basically been the defacto coach that’s worked with Penguins goalies since 1989, an insanely long time.
It’ll remain to be seen how Meloche is replaced, many fans have long stumped for a full-time goaltender specialist coach to work with Marc-Andre Fleury. Speaking of Fleury, the “new goalie coach, new goalie results” narrative is sure to start now. It’ll remain to be seen if there’s any results or fire behind all of the smoke that will come from it.
In theory, it should be a possibility- Fleury has no physical problems and a lot of his issues have been in the realm of consistency, focus, positioning and staying mentally strong in being able to keep the puck out of the net. Physically he has the athleticism to succeed and has succeeded in the past, when he was one of the league’s best goalies in the 2008 and 2009 playoffs. Will a new goalie coach help get him back to that form?
It remains to be seen. Hell, despite Fleury and coach Dan Bylsma saying all the right and nice things in public, there’s no guarantee at this point that Penguins management won’t try to move in a different direction. Perhaps we’ll learn more tomorrow when GM Ray Shero addresses the media, but for now all we know is changes will be made and Meloche out as goaltender coach is a significant first step for what will likely be a summer of changes for the Penguins.