Contrary to earlier reports, the Pittsburgh Penguins did not make a major house cleaning on Friday afternoon, only a partial one.
As we wrote earlier, the Penguins did indeed fire general manager Ray Shero, just three days after the Pens suffered a fifth consecutive early playoff exit, this time blowing a 3-1 series lead to the New York Rangers in the second round.
While Shero is now the former Penguins’ general manager, head coach Dan Bylsma was not fired as expected.
That doesn’t mean that Bylsma’s job is safe by any means as he and his staff will be evaluated by the next general manager.
Penguins’ CEO David Morehouse said that the next general manager will evaluate the entire hockey operation, including the coaching staff, and will be the one to determine the fate of Bylsma and his assistants.
When that will happen is anyone’s guess but with the 2014 NHL Draft only six weeks away, I would expect the organization to act quickly in their search for a replacement.
Assistant GM Jason Botterill will replace Shero on an interim basis and will be one of likely several candidates interviewed in the next couple of weeks to succeed Shero.
Shero, who replaced Craig Patrick in 2006, assembled the final pieces of what became the Penguins’ Stanley Cup-winning team in 2009, and was honored as the league’s top general manager just last season.
However his stock fell as quickly as anything I have ever seen in such a short time period and became the first casualty for the Penguins’ disappointing playoff failures.
Shero likely won’t be unemployed long as it is already been reported that he is the top candidate for the Washington Capitals’ vacant GM position.
As for Bylsma, it is almost a certainty that a new general manager will want to bring aboard his own coach and his misery will likely continue for another few weeks until the Pens make a GM hire.
Ultimately Bylsma was a Shero guy and could follow him wherever he ends up.