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.