Penguins Fire Shero, Bylsma’s Future Uncertain

After another disappointing postseason, the Pittsburgh Penguins will reportedly clean house.

UPDATE: The team announced that General Manager Ray Shero has been relieved of their duties with the team on Friday. The new GM will get to decide whether or not Dan Bylsma stays or goes.

It’s easy to point fingers at the coach, but Shero’s track record leaves a great deal to be desired. From the Penguins’ last seven draft classes (2007-13), only two players – defenseman Jake Muzzin and forward Dustin Jeffrey – have played at least 100 NHL games. Muzzin and Jeffery were fifth and sixth round picks in the 2007 Draft, and are both skating elsewhere today.

Perhaps most notable, Shero passed on two local kids in recent drafts and both have already started to make an impact in the NHL. Chicago forward Brandon Saad and Anaheim goaltender John Gibson were both second round picks in 2011; the Penguins selected defenseman Joe Morrow in the first round.

Morrow was later traded to Dallas for Brenden Morrow (no relation). Brenden Morrow scored eight goals in 29 games with the Penguins.

It appears Shero fired all of his bullets in the last 14 months. He traded away two prospects and a first round pick to keep Jarome Iginla out of Boston at the trade deadline last season, and the future Hall of Famer went on to score 9 goals in 28 games in a Pittsburgh sweater before leaving as a free agent… and sign with Boston.

For Bylsma, the issues were clear. He was underwhelming with the USA team in Sochi and reportedly lost players in that dressing room, and came back to Pittsburgh where there was reportedly a disconnect as well.

Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2009, the Pens have won only four postseason series, and made it as far as the Conference Final only once (where they were swept by the Bruins in 2013).

The front office openings in Pittsburgh could impact the Blackhawks. At some point, Al MacIsaac is going to get a call, and Mark Kelley may as well.

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5 Responses to Penguins Fire Shero, Bylsma’s Future Uncertain

  1. Sr. Brad says:

    Great analysis Tab…so true…Shero has a big name, but not a great resume…and the crazy thing is, with that lineup, and knowing how to win, he didn’t have to swing for the fences. He just needed to play it smart, close to the chest and they could have won more. All he had to do was make the logical draft selections, not the “sexy” picks and add a veteran piece at the deadline without giving away the house…but he didn’t.

    As for the coach, you know more than I, obviously Bylsma has lost a lot lately with stacked rosters…and for MacIsaac and Kelley, they are part of the model franchise, so they are next up on the hit parade…

    Again, great article.

  2. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    I read a great article last night on prohockeytalk about Shero’s draft picks failures. Many Pens fans still feel like had they drafted better they would have had the chance to be the next dynasty cut from the Edmonton Oilers model. Hard to argue with a cast that could have included Crosby, Malkin and Toews.

    Personal I thought Bylsma not Shero should have been removed, but the more I looked at their drafts Shero history was just awful and I still believe Bylsma has done less with more talent then any other coach. Imgine Mike Yeo as the Pens coach or Babcock. Good chance that same roster goes much further.

  3. EspoForever says:

    The Pens had the most man-games lost to injury this year, including, I believe, one stretch with all 4 of their top 4 D out. And they finished in first place…so Bylsma did a few things right.

  4. Mike says:

    I hope the Hawks are able to retain MacIssac. Met him when we was a lowly ECHL player in the early 1990s, and a hell of a player he was. He decided to quit playing and became a member of the coaching staff. He was on the coaching staff all 10 years that the Hawks AHL team was in Norfolk (1998-2007). He went to Rockford with team then bumped up to management in Chicago. MacIssac has been in the Hawks organization for 16 years. Hope he sticks around.

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