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Coffey: I'd consult on Penguins' power play

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By Mike Palm
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Paul Coffey isn't interested in coaching in the NHL.

But the Hall of Fame defenseman said Tuesday he'd be willing to consult with the Penguins next season, after an ineffective power play sent the team to an early playoff exit.

"Anything to help anybody," Coffey said in a phone interview.

Coffey's name has been mentioned after the Penguins' 1-for-35 effort played a part in the team's failings during a seven-game series with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The former Penguin certainly knows what he's talking about, having been on the ice for 1,147 power-play goals (fifth all-time) in his 21-year career. Coffey scored 40 of his 135 power-play goals during his 331-game tenure with the Penguins, which included his fourth Stanley Cup in 1991.

But running two car dealerships outside Toronto and coaching his sons — Blake, 13, and Christian, 8 — takes up most of his time. Coffey, who has been closely associated with the team since he was inducted into the Penguins' hall of fame, still regularly watches the Penguins and the NHL.

"I was going back and forth with Mario (Lemieux) on texts (during the playoffs)," said Coffey, widely considered to be one of the game's great power-play quarterbacks.

Coffey cautioned that the lengthy absences of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin played a larger role in the power play's frustrating showing than, say, the Penguins' coaching staff. After the season, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said he would be open to working with a consultant.

"I will say, and I study the NHL pretty closely, the four guys with the Penguins' coaching staff are as good, if not better, than anybody in the league," he said. "They know what they're doing. I've watched them, I've listened, I've watched their professionalism, when guys went down, they're very calm. With Ray Shero leading from the top, they've got a great management team."

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