Apr 3, 2014; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma reacts from behind the bench during the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. The Penguins won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins To Fire Ray Shero (Retain Bylsma)

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UPDATE: Dan Bylsma will be retained and will be evaluated by the new GM. More to come soon.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have called a press conference for 11:30 AM where they are expected to announce that head coach Dan Bylsma and GM Ray Shero will be fired. Despite Shero being named GM of the Year last season and Byslma winning coach of the year in 2011, it has been determined that sweeping change is needed in Pittsburgh.

After a difficult series with the Columbus Blue Jackets and a three game collapse to the New York Rangers, it comes as no surprise that the Penguins have decided to part ways with both Bylsma and Shero. Throughout the postseason, there were rumors of discontent in the Penguins locker room, mostly over the construction of the team and the way it was being coached.

While many questioned the poor performance of Sidney Crosby, there was more discussion about the cast of characters surrounding Crosby. The 2013-14 Penguins lacked the toughness, scoring depth, and grit of the 2009 Stanley Cup team. Since then, everything has rested on the shoulders of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The poor core of the team reflects directly on the inability of Ray Shero to reload the Penguins team after the 2009 Cup win, and Bylsma losing the locker room this year.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie later went on to confirm that Assistant GM Jason Boterill will temporarily assume Shero’s duties as GM.

With today’s announcement, Dan Bylsma now becomes the hottest free agent available to the several teams looking for a new head coach. Bylsma may have lost the Penguins locker room this year, but he is still a Jack Adams winner and an Olympic head coach. There will be several teams, including the Washington Capitals, showing interest in Bylsma over the next few weeks.

There is also speculation that the Washington Capitals have interest in hiring Ray Shero as well, so we could see a Bylsma / Shero reunion in DC at some point.

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Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins

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