The Pittsburgh Penguins have numerous questions to answer heading into what looks to be an offseason they attempt to correct what went wrong late in their season. One of the names with their future in question is head coach Dan Bylsma, who failed to reign in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and their aggression against the Boston Bruins. Majority co-owner Mario Lemieux is reportedly not happy with Bylsma but according to Rob Rossi from TribLive.com, general manager Ray Shero made a hard push to get approval from ownership to give Bylsma a contract extension.
During the meeting, Shero made a strong push for approval on an extension for Bylsma, who is set to enter the final season of his contract.
Rossi’s report indicates that Shero wants the head coaching situation figured out quickly so he can proceed with what the Pens want to do with star Evengi Malkin and his contract extension as well as deals for guys like Kris Letang and Pascal Dupuis. According to the TribLive report, it sounds like a long-term dal with Malkin has been discussed enough that Shero is ready to start finalizing the contract.
Once Malkin’s contract is taken care of, the Pens can move on and decide who among their expiring contracts they can bring back and who must be allowed to hit free agency. Mid-season acquisition Jarome Iginla is another expiring contract the Pens might be interested in bringing back and they must also decide what to do about their netminding situation as Marc Andre-Fleury hardly looked impressive and Tomas Vokoun is pushing 40.
But the fact that management seems split on what to do with Bylsma means we may not have the quick resolution Shero wants. If Lemieux is hellbent on getting rid of Bylsma, that means the Pens will have to add finding a head coach to their long list of things to do, and if he returns like Shero wants, does that then put the Pens general manager in the cross hairs if things go south once again next season?