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Insider Only Rutherford sends a message to Mike Sullivan

Penguins clean house with Mike Sullivan’s top assistants

Mike Sullivan will return for the 2020-2021 season. That was always a given as Sullivan begins the start of a new four year extension that pays him over $3. Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

But, a message has been quickly sent by Penguins’ GM Jim Rutherford.

Rutherford today announced the team will not renew the contracts of top assistants Jacques Martin, Mark Recchi and Sergei Gonchar.

As Sullivan’s message has gotten stale, it’s a complete cleaning house of Sullivan’s staff that was driven by the General Manager, not the coach.

“We just thought we needed to change the dynamic of our coaching staff,” Rutherford said in a released statement. “We have very high standards here in Pittsburgh, and we want to continue competing for Stanley Cups. The message to our fans is that we are not rebuilding, we’re retooling.”

Without fully naming the coaching staff, much of what Rutherford said in Tuesday’s end of the season press conference was an indictment of the coaching staff.

“There’s been a pattern in both seasons,” Rutherford said. “My concern Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

Despite being a Hall-of-Famer, Recchi is said to have struggled to garner X’s and O’s respect from the core players and that was often a challenge for Recchi, sources say.

While he was well liked by players, sources say S Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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