May 13, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma (top left) hands a new stick to left wing Chris Kunitz (14) against the New York Rangers during the third period in game seven of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Rangers won the game 2-1 and took the series 4 games to 3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins considering Ron Wilson as head coach?

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have yet to hire a coach after having hired Jim Rutherford as their GM and firing former coach Dan Bylsma. With the season officially over, it’s safe to say the Penguins will look to get this process wrapped up more or less around draft day so they know who their coach will be when they enter the free agency period in July.

As Rutherford and the crew pare their own list of candidates, one name refuses to go away in the rumor mill, and it’s one that makes sense. While some other great names have come up in Pittsburgh’s search — names that could very well end up including the team’s future coach — it seems that the favorite is former San Jose and Toronto bench boss Ron Wilson.

According to Yahoo’s Puck Daddy Blog:

“Wilson wore out his welcome in Toronto thanks in part to some abjectly terrible goaltending (whose reversal of fortune has kept Randy Carlyle in a job), but Wilson’s a very good coach and a good fit for the team. Crosby and Malkin would love the up tempo style. The media would eat up his jokey but sometimes combative nature.”

The style of coaching is where Penguins fans should be most pleased. Wilson’s Maple Leaf teams were not suited for the style that Wilson employs, but the Penguins more or less are. Well, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin certainly are anyways. That’s all that really counts, right?

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Add in Wilson’s big-game experience (he coached Team USA’s men’s hockey team in 2010) and you may have the perfect recipe for a seasoned, veteran coach who can come in, offer a better structure and a steadier hand, and reap the rewards on a Pittsburgh squad that is still among the most talented in the league.

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Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins Ron Wilson

  • PensSince67

    If the Pens hire Wilson that will definitely be the last straw. This guy is not the answer and is a two-time loser. Retreads like Wilson and Rutherford will finally sink the ship to the bottom.

  • perplexio

    Wilson was able to get the Washington Capitals to the Cup Finals in 1998 with considerably less talent than is currently on the Penguins. I’m pretty sure that he made it to the playoffs each season that he coached the Sharks and I could be wrong but I believe he had similar luck with Anaheim in the mid-90s (incidentally he lost his job there due to a candid response when an interviewer in the 1997 off-season asked him who he’d like to coach and he mentioned the Red Wings… while he was still employed by the Ducks).

    That being said, I would prefer Marc Crawford. Wilson is a little too “loose” and “jokey” at times… I think that’s kind of how Bylsma lost the locker room with the Pens over time. I think the team needs a bit more discipline and I think Crawford is more the type of coach that can provide that than Wilson is.

    I just don’t think Ron Wilson would be as big of a disaster for the Penguins as you think he would, be PensSince67.