Penguins Hire Olczyk

Archived from 2002-03 season.

NHL teams

Former NHL player Ed Olczyk was hired as the new coach of the Pittburgh Penguins. He is the team's fifth coach in five years.

"I've wanted this for a long time," Olczyk said. "Craig (Patrick) and I have talked for a long time, and he knew a couple of years ago I wanted to do this. I know people are going to doubt it and have questions about what is going on, but that's all right. This is an opportunity of a lifetime."

Olczyk spent 16 seasons in the NHL as a player, but has virtually no coaching experience. He has only coached a group of 15- and 16-year-olds in Chicago.

"He's the perfect guy to do what we're asking," Penguins general manager Craig Patrick said. "He has an infectious type personality. He's outgoing. He's a great teacher. He's got great hockey knowledge."

The Penguins had a horrible season with a 27-44-6-5 record. After losing all but two of the final 21 games, the team fired former coach Rick Kehoe on April 15.

"We're going to be relentless, I can promise you that," Olczyk said. "We're going to create offense by being relentless."

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