This tweet from Mark Divver seemed notable to me since all the names he mentioned are former Pittsburgh Penguins players.
Ivies love to hire alums as their coaches. Curious to see if ex-NHLers like Ben Lovejoy, Tanner Glass, Lee Stempniak end up in the mix at Dartmouth— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) April 23, 2020
The name that immediately stood out was Ben Lovejoy. He definitely has a scholarly type of vibe and his positioning and the way he thought the game outpaced his physical abilities as a player. Plus it seems like he was a very coachable and highly perceptive player and the right kind of personality, if he wanted to it would be easy to see him behind the bench. Which, hey, maybe he wouldn’t want at this point since he started a career in media and is on national TV now with NBC Sports’ NHL coverage. Since Lovejoy is also well-spoken and knowledgeable, it’s just as easy to see that being a career path for him for a long time if he wanted to go that route.
Which other old Pens’ players would make good coaches? Hockey, for better or worse, is certainly a very insulated community since so few have such vast knowledge and experience. We’ve seen Rick Tocchet as a coach for a while now. Ditto Mark Recchi and Sergei Gonchar. Hell, go across the ocean and Aleksey Morozov is the President of the KHL right now, so there’s certainly a lot of upward mobility attached to the Pens over the years.
Paul Martin always was a very cerebral player, not sure if he has any aspirations but I would imagine he would be a fit behind a bench if he wanted to. And I feel like Max Talbot would be a very inspirational type of leader as well, though he has also joined the CAA agency and works in the media for RDS so it looks like he’s carving out a post-playing career away from the coaching profession.
And what of current players? Sidney Crosby loves hockey so much it’s tough to see him just walking away from the game when his playing days are over (one day many, many days in the future, hopefully). But it’s tough for the best players to be the best coaches — insert Wayne Gretzky anecdote here — and it would feel like Crosby should be more upper management material anyways. Maybe a future general manager, following in the footsteps of elite players like Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, Ron Francis and Rob Blake who are all current NHL GMs? Not to mention Crosby’s former teammate in Bill Guerin. It wouldn’t feel out of place at all to see Sid one day in charge somewhere. And being Sidney Crosby, his options in the future are probably about as unlimited as his desires.
It’ll be interesting to see what you think, which Pens players and recent players do you think would make good coaches one day?