Former Merrimack College men’s hockey coach Mark Dennehy will be named the new head coach of the Binghamton Devils, the AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. The Eagle Tribune‘s Bill Burt first reported the story on Tuesday night, and The Mack Report was able to confirm.
Dennehy was hired by the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL), an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, on May 31. The Devils job opened up last week, when the New Jersey Devils elevated Binghamton head coach Rick Kowalsky to an assistant coaching position with the NHL club.
“I want to thank Jim Rutherford, Bill Guerin, the Penguins’ organization and the Wheeling Nailers ownership group for the opportunity to speak with Mark on this position,” said New Jersey assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald. “Mark has spent considerable time building, coaching and recruiting in one of college hockey’s most competitive conferences. His experience will help him connect with players coming from the collegiate and junior hockey levels. Mark is extremely excited for a new challenge and to take the next step in his coaching career.”
Wheeling team governor Don Rigby said in a news conference on Wednesday that the Nailers knew of the situation over the weekend; the Devils asked the Nailers and Penguins for permission to speak with Dennehy. One Wheeling player told The Mack Report that he was informed of the coaching move on Monday.
The move to Binghamton means a potential reunion for Dennehy and recent Merrimack graduate Brett Seney. Seney appeared in 12 games for the Devils at the end of last season and enters the first year of his entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils this upcoming season. If Seney doesn’t make the NHL club out of training camp in September, it’s likely that he’ll be assigned to Binghamton, where he was in a top-six role as well as on the power play to finish the 2017-18 season.
The Eagle Tribune attempted to reach Dennehy for comment, but he was unavailable.
Merrimack parted ways with Dennehy at the end of last season. This summer, he coached at the Pittsburgh Penguins development camp (representing the Nailers) and this week he will be in Slovakia to coach Team USA’s Under-17 Select Team for the Five Nations Tournament.
There will be a conference call with Dennehy and Fitzgerald tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. and an announcement regarding an introductory press conference for him in Binghamton later this month.