On Tuesday, the team announced that Gonchar has taken a role as a part of the Pens coaching staff carrying the title Defensemen Development Coach.
In the varied role, the team says Gonchar will work with NHL defensemen and defensemen throughout the team’s system, as well as doing scouting at European tournaments on the behalf of the team.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 27, 2015
This new appointment likely means that the career of the 41-year-old Russian is at an end. He played 20 years in the league, including 1,301 games over which he scored 220 goals and 591 assists. That’s the most points scored by a Russian defenseman in NHL history.
He was able to get one championship under his belt before retiring, in 2009 with the Penguins.
He’s a four-time All-Star and his 1,301 ranks 57th all-time in the NHL. He won a silver and a bronze medal in both the Olympics and at the World Championships. In Russia, where he played during both of the most recent lockouts, he was decorated as well. He was the MVP of the Spengler Cup during the 2004-05 season and was a KHL All-Star in the 2012-13 season.
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Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.