As soon as the clock hit triple zeroes and the Pittsburgh Penguins were sent packing after their second-round loss to the New York Rangers, you knew changes were coming.
Those changes are coming quickly as a complete management overhaul is happening as both head coach Dan Bylsma and general manager Ray Shero have been fired.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie was the first to break the news and the Penguins are set to make a formal announcement at an 11:30 press conference.
PIT will announce this morning GM Ray Shero and head coach Dan Bylsma have been fired. #TSN
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 16, 2014
After another disappointing playoff exit, someone has to pay the price and Bylsma and Shero are both at the top of the chopping block.
The moves come just three days after the Penguins were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 7 against the New York Rangers. The Penguins blew a 3-1 series lead against New York, and for the fifth season in a row were bounced from the playoffs despite one of the league’s best regular season records.
Bylsma is the Pens winningest coach and led the Penguins to a franchise record three consecutive 100-point regular-season finishes from 09-10 to 11-12.
However this team was built to win championships and they failed in that department.
As for Shero, at the end of the day he will be perceived as a guy who didn’t surround his stars with enough talent to win.
During the past few days his draft resume has come into question as he never was able to draft any talented goal scoring wingers.
However I can’t recall a front office employee falling so far out of favor amongst a fan base in such a short time period.
In just a little over a calendar year later, Pens fans are singing a much different tune about Shero.
The Pens will likely have to act quickly and find a GM as the 2014 NHL Draft is a mere six weeks away.
Penguins assistant GM Jason Botterill likely to take over on an interim basis.
If that is the case Botterill will have his hands full in the short term as not only is the draft on the horizon, but player moves will need to be made as well as 17 current Penguins are set to either become restricted or unrestricted free agents this summer.
McKenzie reports that Shero likely to immediately become frontrunner for GM job in Washington.
Needless to say it won’t be long before both Bylsma and Shero find employment elsewhere as I don’t expect them to be on the unemployment line very long.