The Pittsburgh Penguins are apparently back to square one when it comes to finding a new head coach for the team.
Pens general manager Jim Rutherford told Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Friday afternoon that the team will resume its search for a new bench boss after failing to reach a deal with their targeted choice, presumably Willie Desjardins – head coach of the American Hockey League champion Texas Stars, to fill the vacancy.
Rutherford said to Rossi, “I’m going to take the weekend to sort some things out, I’ll work off the same list I had, but it will be expanded by two or three names that for whatever reason weren’t considered for interviews the last time.”
It should be noted that both TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Kevin Weekes of Hockey Night in Canada have reported that Desjardins was close to signing a deal with the Vancouver Canucks to become their new head coach.
One of Rutherford’s original choices is no longer available as the Carolina Hurricanes hired former Detroit Red Wings assistant, Bill Peters to be their new head coach on Thursday.
Another rumored candidate was Los Angeles Kings assistant coach John Stevens who was promoted to associate head coach by the Stanley Cup champions on Wednesday.
Others who reportedly talked with the Black and Gold are John Hynes, coach of the Penguins AHL affiliate; former Pittsburgh defenseman and New York Rangers assistant coach, Ulf Samuelsson; Red Wings assistant coach Tom Renney; and former NHL head coaches Marc Crawford, Doug MacLean, and Ron Wilson.
Rutherford fired former coach Dan Bylsma back on Friday, June 6 and has expressed that a new coach be in place by Tuesday, July 1 which is the start of NHL free agency.