Since the Pittsburgh Penguins were bounced from the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Finals, there has been some speculation that the team could part ways with head coach Dan Bylsma, but let that speculation go no further. Wednesday morning, the Penguins decided to sign Dan Bylsma to a two-year contract extension.
Assistants Tony Granato and Todd Reirde also received extensions from the Penguins.
The team’s general manager Ray Shero made the announcement today and shared his excitement moving forward with the current coaching staff.
“I really look forward to moving forward with this group,” Shero said when making the announcement, via USA Today.
If the Penguins would have made the decision to fire Bylsma, it would have been completely unfair. He was a big reason for the team’s success throughout the season and he helped them advance as far as they did in the postseason.
The problem came when the offense sputtered in the Eastern Conference Finals.
If anyone is to blame, it would be Shero and the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Shero is the one who brought players like Jerome Iginla and Brenden Morrow in trades that didn’t end up working for the team, and many of the team’s stars failed to step up in crunch time and produce points for Pittsburgh when they needed it the most.
Bylsma’s extension shows a vote of confidence and we will have to see how the team does moving forward.