Penguins Update: Something Fishy in the ‘Burgh – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Penguins Update: Something Fishy in the ‘Burgh

Something smells fishy in the ‘Burgh. And it ain’t Wholey’s seafood market.

pp0486Ever since the Penguins were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs on Tuesday night, the local and national media reported that Dan Bylsma was out as Penguins coach. Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, citing sources close to the team, indicated it was an absolute certainty.

Bylsma wasn’t present when the players cleared out their lockers at CONSOL Energy Center on Thursday, which seemed to confirm the reports. A headline on the Trib web site Friday morning even blared, “Penguins Fire Bylsma and Shero.”

Yet when Penguins CEO and president David Morehouse announced the dismissal of GM Ray Shero at a press conference Friday morning, he stated that Bylsma was still the coach—for now.

It was a curious move to say the least. The Pens are rumored to have interest in Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock and vice versa. Is it possible ownership inquired about Babcock, who has a year remaining on his contract, only to be rebuffed? Could that be the reason for the awkward, last-minute back pedal on Bylsma?

Not according to owner Mario Lemieux. Mario told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Bylsma could, indeed, be coaching the team next season.

“That’s why we didn’t fire him,” Lemieux said. “He’s a good coach. You look at his record in the regular season, in the playoffs. If he was fired today, there’d be a lot of teams lined up for him.”

Sorry Mario. I’m not buying it. Not with all the stories of dissention in the locker room and a possible rift with team captain Sidney Crosby. Heck, the Penguins’ brass wanted to can Bylsma last spring. Shero talked them out of it.

Something’s in the works. Perhaps Mario wants to see if another team is willing to buy out Bylsma’s contract. Or maybe, as ownership stated, they want the new GM to evaluate the Pens’ skipper.

Let’s hope Bylsma isn’t left twisting in the wind too long. That would be cruel treatment for a man who led the team to a Stanley Cup.

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  1. May 18, 2014 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Coach here–I think an open GM position with the ability to name the coach would actually be more enticing to Babcock who has always be interested in a GM/coach position…just a thought.

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      May 20, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Hey Coach,

      I’ve heard that Babcock is interested in a coach/GM position, too.

    • May 20, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Are you guys talking about him being both coach & GM? I think other than NJ Lou’s famous firing right before the playoffs, that has never gone down very well. Now if they bring in Babcock as GM and his longtime assistant as coach, that could work out.

      I would still bet Detroit signs Babcock to a long term contract July 1st and all he was doing by mentioning Pittsburgh is posturing for more money.

  2. May 18, 2014 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Why should he be there?

  3. May 18, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Seeing as how the Red Wings have barely even made it to the playoffs in the last few years, and Babcock hates the Flower – I hope they wouldn’t hire him!


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