"Time to clean out the NHL coaching staff too": NHL fans react as Penguins part ways with AHL affiliate WBS coaching staffs

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders
Penguins part ways with AHL affiliate WBS coaching staffs

The Pittsburgh Penguins decided to cancel the contracts of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Head Coach J.D. Forrest and assistant coach Kevin Porter. This move has sparked reactions from fans, calling for changes to the NHL coaching staff.

The Penguins' AHL affiliate was eliminated in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs. This fueled speculation that the club could next make coaching changes after failing to qualify for the 2023-24 playoffs with a 38-32-12 record and 88 points.

Fans expressed their views on social media.

"Time to clean out the NHL coaching staff too," one fan tweeted.

Another fan suggests the Pittsburgh Penguins HC will be next:

"Sullivan next"

Here are some fan reactions:

"So the WBS coaching staff gets let go after making the playoffs while no changes happen at the NHL despite this now being the second year in a row with no playoffs? How does this make sense?" one fan tweeted on X.
"Hmmm, after making the playoffs… weird," another fan tweeted.
"Bring up Derek Army he knows how to win!" a usert weeted.
"Was never a big fan of Forrest so I'm looking forward to seeing who his replacement will be, maybe demote Reirden or Vellucci?" another user tweeted.
"nhl coaches next" one fan tweeted.
"Scapegoating. Firing the wrong coaches." another fan tweeted.

Forrest joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2016, while Porter served as assistant in 2020. But after the playoff disappointment, the organization decided to go in a different direction.

Pittsburgh Penguins Assistant GM Jason Spezza on parting ways with AHL affiliate WBS coaching staffs

In a statement released by the Pittsburgh Penguins, their GM Jason Spezza addressed the decision to part ways with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins' coaching staff:

“These decisions come after taking the season to fully evaluate our minor league and development systems. As we enter into an era where each of those systems operating at an elite level becomes paramount to the future of our entire program."
"We felt it would be best to take this time to make the changes that our management team deems important to reaching our goal of having Wilkes-Barre become the (premier) developer of players and staff that can help the Pittsburgh Penguins win Stanley Cups.”

The changes come after evaluating the team's minor league and development systems throughout the season. Head Coach J.D. Forrest, who had been with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for four seasons, compiled a 113-102-37 record and reached the postseason twice during his tenure.

The team finished with a 39-24-9 record this season, securing third place in the AHL's Atlantic Division. However, they were swept out of the opening round of the Calder Cup playoffs by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in a best-of-three series.

While assistant coach Sheldon Brookbank remains on staff, Pittsburgh has said additional changes to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton staff will be announced once a new head coach is named.

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