New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that Mike Pelino has been named assistant coach. Pelino, who served as assistant coach for the Florida Panthers last season, joins Benoit Allaire and Perry Pearn on head coach Tom Renney's staff.
"Mike Pelino has an excellent tactical background in the game and has enjoyed success at every level," said Sather. "His experience in working with both established professionals and young prospects is directly in line with the direction of our organization and makes him a perfect fit on our coaching staff."
Prior to joining the NHL coaching ranks, Pelino, 44, served with Hockey Canada for four years, coaching at various levels of international competition. During his coaching tenure with Team Canada, he captured 11 gold medals, most notably at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, when he served as assistant coach. In his most recent coaching work with Team Canada, Pelino was an assistant coach for the country's gold medal-winning entry at the 2004 World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic, as well as the 2003 gold-medal winning squad in Finland. He also held the head coaching position for Team Canada at the 2002 Spengler Cup, 2000 Father Bauer Cup and the 1996 Under-18 Pacific Cup, capturing the gold in each tournament. Pelino served as an assistant under Tom Renney for the 1999-00 Canadian National Team, helping lead the club to a gold medal at the 2000 Nagano Cup and a fourth place finish at the 2000 World Championships in St. Petersberg, Russia. In addition, he was a member of the coaching staff for the champion Canadian entries at the 1997 World Junior Championships and 1991 Canada Cup.
"Mike's diversified and successful background will be a valuable addition to our coaching staff," stated Tom Renney. "He's also a great communicator who connects with people in a sincere and genuine way."
A native of Welland, Ontario, Pelino spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League (WHL). He also served as head coach at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, becoming the longest serving head coach in the school's history. While at Brock, Pelino was named Ontario University Athletic Association (OUAA) Coach of the Year three times (1988, 1989, 1995).
During a five-year playing career at the University of Toronto from 1979-1984, he captured two provincial championships and one national title. Pelino was also a member of the 1983-84 CIAU championship team and tallied the championship-clinching goal for the club and was named to the Canadian All-Star squad. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Mike and his wife Kim have two children, daughter Alexandra and son David.