There has been quite a list of teams making changes to their management staff this season.
The Vancouver Canucks, Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes are just a few examples. The Pittsburgh Penguins also made this list when they fired their GM Ray Shero after a very disappointing playoff run.
Only the Penguins didn’t stop there. On Friday, the team’s new GM Jim Rutherford sacked head coach Dan Bylsma.
Many fans had expected Bylsma was safe for at least one more season and the decision has shocked many. After all, we’re talking about the coach that helped the team win a Stanley Cup in 2009.
Plus, Bylsma holds the record for the most wins for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He’s won 252 games and has a Jack Adam’s Trophy to his name. This was a very bold move by Jim Rutherford and it’s one he may yet regret considering all that Bylsma has done for the Penguins.
I expected Rutherford to wait at least a few days before making such a significant decision.
When a team’s star player only scores one goal in the playoffs, there is not much a coach can do to turn things around. Many though there would be some changes in the roster long before Bylsma would get fired.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin ended the playoffs with a combined total of 23 points. Kris Letang and James Neal ended with only 10 points. Pittsburgh's players must take some of the blame, with their 13 games in this year’s playoff campaign showing there was clearly something wrong with the players.
Nevertheless, the decision has been made and the Pittsburgh Penguins must now begin their search for a new head coach. John Tortorella would be a good fit for the Penguins and he certainly wouldn’t be afraid of mixing things and he certainly would play his top lines a lot more.
Dan Bylsma meanwhile should be back in work in the near future. He would be a great fit for the Nashville Predators or the Vancouver Canucks for instance. Both these teams could use his level of experience to help them start winning games consistently.
Bylsma has a great offensive mindset that would fit well with either of these teams.
It will certainly be interesting to see where Bylsma ends up next, and how the Penguins move on into next season.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU