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Poll: Should the Penguins fire Dan Bylsma?

May 13, 2014, 10:38 PM EDT

The Pittsburgh Penguins have seen enough postseasons end with crushing defeat that it’s difficult to shake the feeling that there will be big changes following their Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers. Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma seemed to acknowledge the thought, even if he indicates that he hasn’t fully processed what that can mean.

Aside from Marc-Andre Fleury (who enters a contract year in 2014-15), firing Bylsma is the easiest radical change to make. The likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang are locked up for the long-term and shoulder among the largest burdens of any players in the league (especially Crosby and Malkin).

The Penguins organization weathered the storm of criticism after the Boston Bruins managed a sweep in the 2013 Eastern Conference finals, yet that might not pass this time around. While GM Ray Shero probably needs to sweat a little bit himself, Bylsma seems like the most obvious guy on the hot seat right now.

So, in your opinion, should the Penguins part ways with Bylsma?

For what it’s worth, Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick agreed that Bylsma should go in the event of a loss when asked during Game 7’s second intermission report:

  1. billiam55 - May 13, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    i hear torts is available. 😉

    • blomfeld - May 14, 2014 at 12:15 AM



  2. killerpgh - May 13, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    It all depends on who you can get to replace him. You don’t fire him just to change. If Shero knows he can get a better coach he has to fire him to improve the team. That’s his job. If he isn’t sure he can get a better coach he shouldn’t fire him.

    • apkyletexas - May 13, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      Shero needs to fire himself.

      And you don’t have to look any further than Jerome Iginla playing for the Bruins this year compared to last year with the Penguins to see that Bylsma must go. He’s just incapable of coaching high-intensity defense.

      • botlecap - May 13, 2014 at 11:24 PM

        I believe Iggy moving on to Boston speaks more about the Pens’ locker room and leadership (Crosby) and has less to do with the coach or the GM. Sort of pretty clear Iggy walked in there and it was’t at all what he expected and he wanted no part in staying.

        Bylsma should have been fired last year, or earlier. And Crosby shouldn’t be the captain of that team. It’s an attitude adjustment that’s needed. Listening to interviews the last few years it’s sort of obvious the core of this roster doesn’t have the mentality that they need to desperately earn playoff wins. Bylsma seems too friendly with his players to put them in their place or properly motivate them (it happened in the Olympics also). Sure these Pit teams have lacked defense, and Shero ought to fix that (not that easy a thing to do though really), but can anyone honestly say the teams have been so weak defensively as to only have reached one final? I don’t think so. It’s a lack of mental focus, discipline, and drive. What’s Crosby have to say for himself after melting down three years in a row?

      • har21441 - May 14, 2014 at 7:26 AM

        Shero and Bylsma both need to go. Shero failed in drafting/acquiring any ‘grit’ in this lineup. What little toughness they have (Engelland/Glass) were scratches – while lifetime AHLers are playing on the top line. Of course Crosby is taking a beating – the guy with the serious concussion issue is probably not going to drop the gloves, and apparently no one else in the line up is going to either.

        The Iginla situation from last year should tell you all you need to know about Bylsma. He takes a veteran hall of fame right winger, and places him on the left wing on the third line – while Pascal Dupuis is playing right wing next to Crosby.
        Same situation with Bennett this year – a high draft pick with skill playing on the third line (or scratched like last night) while Brian Gibbons starts on the top line.

        Craig Adams is old and tired, but he hasn’t missed a game this year. Rob Scuderi is old and tired and a liability, and not only did Shero ink him to a four year deal (!), Bylsma won’t even sit him when Orpik got back in and it’s clear that Bortuzzo is playing better than Scuderi. Including the olympics, Olli Maata has played about 30 more games this year than he has at any other point in his career. And he is 19 years old. Meanwhile Bylsma is stepping on his neck during the regular season with no clue that a few days rest in February will pay dividends when the playoffs roll around.

        This team needs an overhaul, but it has to start with Bylsma and Shero.

    • bwayblueshirt - May 13, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      Barry Trotz would seem to be a good fit for you guys.

  3. jaybaileys - May 13, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    so is barry trotz and shero was in Nashville for awhile before coming to Pitt.

  4. artn4gkr - May 13, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    If Mario doesn’t clean house after this we will see this next year

  5. girouxsalem89 - May 13, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    Most overrated coach in the NHL.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - May 13, 2014 at 11:47 PM

      Word. Doesn’t help that the locker room lacks leadership.

    • bullwinkle88 - May 14, 2014 at 4:25 AM

      True. We saw what he could do in the Olympics. Not much.

  6. muckleflugga - May 13, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    wow, can you believe it

    pierre mcguire’s been rushed to hospital in an apparent state of shock, collapsing shortly after interviewing henrik lundqvist … the first hint our man with the mic was in trouble was when he inexplicably grew a full head of white flowing hair, in mere seconds …?

    as for state of penguins moving forward, the first clue for change will come if they wheel-in a hatchet man, much as flames, canucks and leafs have done … if he’s wrapped in cloak and wielding seal, no one short of sidney will be safe … under those circumstances, ray and dan should get their résumés in order

    but look for some player of character and authority to be brought in to relieve crosby of his captain’s responsibilities regardless … better for all concerned, though he’d likely not yield to the move if the C is structured into contracted pay

    the next move would see malkin going somewhere west … a room divided always falls, and through no fault of anything other than ego and self-regard, sid and geno mix like oil and water

    the penguins team leaving the ice tonight will bear little resemblance to the team entering the exhibition season

    were it my decision, i’d lose shero and keep bylsma, giving him opportunity to work with a team complementing his hockey ethic

    shero will find work should québec get a franchise, maybe sooner

    • apkyletexas - May 13, 2014 at 10:52 PM

      You’ve got one good point – there’s no real leader among the players. Bill Guerin never got replaced.

  7. mangoman1966 - May 13, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    No question about it. Helluva good man and coach but he was given an all star team last season and still couldn’t get the job done. I look for many changes on ice also. They need some added grit and scoring. I thought that he was getting fired last season but hes gone.

    • bwayblueshirt - May 13, 2014 at 11:00 PM

      Can’t blame Bylsma for last year, necessarily. Shero over-acquired, and had too many forwards and not enough spots. Wound up with a whole bunch of name players and zero chemistry in his bottom 9. But after this year, Bylsma has no excuses.

      • mangoman1966 - May 13, 2014 at 11:43 PM

        You got that right. From a cup favorite or at least one of the favorites to turmoil.

  8. guitarhunterdude - May 13, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    I’m not a big Bylsma fan, but if anyone should go it’s Shero for assembling such a weak bottom-six and defensive corps. As big a story as Crosby’s lack of goals has been in the playoffs, it’s those two things that prevented the team from being able to pick up some of the slack.

    • jernster21 - May 13, 2014 at 10:53 PM


  9. jernster21 - May 13, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    He’s gonna get canned but it’s Shero who wiped out their offensive and defensive depth after they won the Cup. Lost 4 years of Scuderi in his prime, lost Goligoski and Gonchar. They certainly missed having Dupuis, but they don’t have nearly the offensive depth they did before – no Staal, no Talbot, no Kennedy, no Guerin, no Fedotenko, etc. Sutter can’t be the best player on the team….Neal, Malkin, and Crosby were no shows.

  10. bighossa - May 13, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    Most overrated team in the nhl. Should be obvious.

  11. khar9 - May 13, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    Disco in the 70’s … He gone

  12. prnst1023 - May 13, 2014 at 11:00 PM

    Four moves that need to be tonight:

    1) DB is canned
    2) Shero is fired shortly thereafter
    3) Sid stripped of the C and Malkin stripped of the A. Martin should be the C and Letang should be given the A.
    4) Bring in Tortorella to coach this team because they need discipline.

    • oscarbi2 - May 13, 2014 at 11:08 PM

      Lol, at 4). That worked out so well for Vancouver.

      • prnst1023 - May 13, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        they had no goalie in vancouver and gillis was a total joke. you get him in the burgh and he will bring discipline to that locker room

      • maalea - May 14, 2014 at 8:59 AM

        I would love to see what Torts would do with MAF
        MAF would need a whole team a shrinks

    • chip56 - May 13, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      3 will never happen – not as long as Mario owns the team.

      • mangoman1966 - May 13, 2014 at 11:49 PM

        Remember. Torts called the pens the most arrogant organization in hockey. I’m sure Mario remembers that pretty well. But I fl think the pens need that type of coach.

    • barkar942 - May 14, 2014 at 2:16 AM

      Nah- Torts with Ovie will make much better drama.

  13. stakex - May 13, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    There is plenty of blame to go around, and I’m always a little careful with rushing to blame a coach… but it has become a yearly occurrence to see the Pens struggle in the playoffs. You’re not going to fire the star players, but something has to change…. and that something is the coach. Who you get to replace him is a tricky question though.

    • chanceoffleury - May 14, 2014 at 12:02 AM

      I don’t agree with you on much stakex, but I couldn’t have said it better myself!

      I feel like you can put just plain old bad play on the individual players. But the complete lack of accountability, the inability to stir up passion and desperation, completely disregard of player match-ups, etc. that are found up and down the roster? A lot of that falls back on the coach for me. I’ve said before: It’s not necessarily the fact the Penguins lose that’s the heartbreaker, it’s *how* they lose that is the most concerning. They can never just lose a series quietly, it has to be a complete meltdown every time. It’s emotionally exhausting for me as a fan to watch, so I can’t even imagine what it’s like to go through as a player year after year.

      • stakex - May 14, 2014 at 12:58 AM

        Indeed it does fall back on the coach. I mean he can’t go out and play for the players, as we learned when Gretzky tried to coach, but he can still have a significant impact on how they play. One thing I noticed over the last couple years is that when things got tough, the Pens structure seemed to just crumble. That’s on the coach.

        I don’t think Bylsma is a bad coach, and bet he lands a job in no time if he’s fired (Washington perhaps?), but he’s just not the coach to lead the Pens anymore. While I don’t shed any tears over it, they have too much talent to continue to implode in the playoffs like this.

        Also, of course we don’t agree much… I’m a Rangers fan and you’re a Pens fan. Its in our DNA not to agree. :)

      • joey4id - May 14, 2014 at 8:34 AM

        Bylsma completely mismanaged the first period last night. Clearly when he had 14 87 71 on the same line in previous games they completely dominated and were a constant buzz in the offensive zone. He should have started with them last night. His terrible management prevented the Pens from setting the tempo of the game, which serves to get the crowd into the game. Good coaches know how to use their players to dictate the flow of the game. It may not work all the time, but it certainly won’t work if you don’t try. You’ve got to establish your best game from the outset and force the opponent to give up the first goal. He failed miserably. His line changes and player selection during the first 5 to 10 minutes of the game were atrocious. Result; Rangers scores the first goal following a complete breakdown. AV out coached Bylsma. This series the Pens & Rangers fans got to see why AV is the best paid coach of the league, and if you think the coach doesn’t make a difference, then compare how well Brad Richards is playing under AV with how he played under Torts.

  14. penvik - May 13, 2014 at 11:02 PM

    Yep, this is one massively overrated team. They have 2 great players and …….. Um………ya

  15. gocaps8 - May 13, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    “Mr. Bylsma, I have a Ted Leonsis on Line 1.”

    • prnst1023 - May 13, 2014 at 11:35 PM

      Go ahead Ted and make the biggest mistake of your life. DB is one of the worst coaches I have seen in any sport.

    • joey4id - May 14, 2014 at 8:39 AM

      Bylsma is not going to work out in Wsh. They need to change the county club environment and need an identity makeover. They need a strong management team, hard ball coach, and character players get Ovi to act like leader or step out of the role.

  16. ningenito78 - May 13, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    At some point somebody somewhere will realize accumulating big names and big talent doesn’t mean anything in sports. Every sport has teams that make that huge stockpile of talent and then just assume any Joe Jockitch can coach them up. These GMs need to shut out the public opinion and press and look at their roster and find a coach that fits their team. A team like the Penguins would do best with most likely an unpopular retread that has been around the block multiple times but has a ton of experience with coaching big egos. A team like Pittsburgh needs to look for a guy that’s not necessarily an ‘X’s and O’s’ guy and find a guy that has coached big names with success. They’re out there and they probably won’t be popular hires but find a guy that fits your roster.

  17. ningenito78 - May 13, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    Torts or Trotz would be good fits for what this team is NOW. They would probably be unpopular but you need a guy that can get these guys to dump egos and play. Those are the type of guys they should be looking at.

    • chip56 - May 13, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      The problem with that theory is that as long as Crosby is protected by the owner a coach needs to cater to him and his ego.

      There’s no chance that Torts would be able to get Crosby or Malkin to buy into his style of play and if you don’t have a team that buys the coach’s system you wind up with what happened in Vancouver.

      • prnst1023 - May 13, 2014 at 11:34 PM

        Mario would sign off on someone like Torts coming in. The only other guy I would like coming in is bring Therrien back.

      • chip56 - May 13, 2014 at 11:44 PM

        Mario would sign off on it, but the first time Torts ripped Crosby for not changing his style and Crosby went all whiny teenager about it, Mario would step in.

        If they wanted a tough guy with a winning record then they should really try to bring in Keenan from the KHL – but that won’t work either. No coach is going to be able to make Crosby man up.

        As a Rangers fan, I’m fine with that.

  18. chip56 - May 13, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    Bylsma’s problem is that the franchise golden boy is gutless. When Mario has to go into the locker room to talk up Crosby and help him rebuild his confidence after Game 6 the issue isn’t the coach, it’s the player.

    Crosby is the Justin Beiber of the NHL – a spoiled brat who can’t deal with adversity. Want to know the difference between a winner and a loser: Hank was abused in the crease all series long by Malkin and others and he didn’t whine, didn’t shut down, he battled and competed. Staal, Stralman and the Rangers’ fourth line put a body on Crosby and he took himself out of his game mentally.

    • Hockeyfan - May 14, 2014 at 6:02 AM

      There was whining from the Rangers about the Pens in the crease.

      • chip56 - May 14, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        Not from Lundqvist and it certainly didn’t take him out of his game.

        You frustrate Lundqvist and he steps up. You frustrate Crosby and he takes his puck and goes home.

    • 6superbowls - May 14, 2014 at 7:01 AM

      Another genius heard from.

    • uhokjoe - May 14, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      It seems to me that the Pens players are more the characters from Mean Girls than Justin Beiberesque.

      As long as Crosby, Malkin, etc dictate and get catered to; it doesnt matter who the coach is… it will always be a figurehead/empty suit position.

  19. jazzyherb - May 13, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    The one thing you all are forgetting is the way he screwed up team USA this year

    • bullwinkle88 - May 14, 2014 at 4:28 AM

      That, more than anything, proved to me that he isn’t a good coach.

  20. ningenito78 - May 13, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    Crosby didn’t have a good series but he isn’t the problem. When a guy acts like he does that’s a textbook case of having no respect for your coach. Unless Penguins fans suddenly want to get on the ‘Trade Sydney Crosby’ wagon (which would be epically stupid) then the organization needs to find a coach that will get the kids respect. You don’t have to like it or agree with it but the bottom line is Crosby is the best player on Earth so either you move him, which would be stupid, or you put your heads together as an organization and find a way to get a coach that will get his ear. That’s the only options. So, as much as fans hate to admit it after losing a series, you have to find a way to make your current punching bag happy. Period.

    • prnst1023 - May 13, 2014 at 11:33 PM

      trading Sid would be a big mistake look what happens when you have a real coach coaching him (Babcock) in the olympics.

  21. 950003cups - May 13, 2014 at 11:31 PM

    With that talent, they should have more than one cup.

  22. fortarnold - May 13, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    To date this current era of the Penguins has to be considered a failure even with two cup finals appearances and one championship. Starting in 2003, they four consecutive first or second overall picks. If you go back 2002, they had five years of consecutive top five picks. Two of the picks are arguably the top two offensive players in the world. For a perennial cup contender, they probably have the hat trick for the three worst consecutive playoff exits- an embarrassing defenseless, discipline-less loss to their arch rival. A two goal effort against the Bruins (They are probably lucky the Islanders didn’t have half a goalie or they could have recreated the Flyers offer from the prior year). And now they go out coughing up a 3-1 lead.

  23. cityofchampions27 - May 14, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    Exactly why there was controversy with Mike Babcock and who would wear the C for canada. Crosby had to call Johnny toews…? Come on. 2>1 toews

  24. ningenito78 - May 14, 2014 at 1:00 AM

    I was going to mention Keenan….

  25. shwatson - May 14, 2014 at 5:01 AM

    Back in the Lemieux and Jagr days the Pens went to 2 Stanley Cup finals like this team did. Everyone on here acts like it’s easy to win the cup. I’m sure if it was those teams back in the 90s would of been to more than 2 finals with how many HOFers.

  26. endusersolutions2013 - May 14, 2014 at 5:50 AM

    Ya know, I’m increasingly taking issue with a Gm firing a coach trying to either turn things around r keeping his own job, at least for a year of 2.

    Case in point. I am ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!! a ‘Nucks fan, and that is non-negotiable, at least on this planet. Nucks came close in 2011 (warning sign, a team that had a 50% revolving door due to cap issues took the Nucks to game 7 OT).

    Then the Nucks stood largely pat.

    Were the coaches the last two years the issue? Did they “fail to sufficiently advise their GM’s who may possibly not have had enough player sense to realize some re-tooling was needed”…..

    Track record with some hindsight – Nucks GM has 13? players with no trades (and Shock, Shock, Shock!) – some associated underperformance)

    So we have a case where after a coach takes a team to the SC final, then is tossed 2 years later after his team has peaked. Was this a coaching or a GM issue?? Can’t judge, and did not honestly follow too close, as I wanted the divers to fail.

    So Av goes to NYC, they get off to a terrible start? Who’s FAULT??? Potential HUGE implosion/explosion????? What happens is they progressively get it together, invidually and as a group.

    Nucks do not.

    Hmmm, Coaching failure/coaching turnaround??????????????????????????

  27. papajack1259 - May 14, 2014 at 7:23 AM

    It’s gotta go higher than just the coach this team needs a new attitude Crosby as great as he believes he is: is not a leader they need a strong voice to represent them and keep them focused A decent goalie! Open for debate truly to much talent not enough team

  28. wishingtonredslur - May 14, 2014 at 8:04 AM

    No. Your team was bankrupt now it makes the playoffs every year. Trade Crosby.

  29. psudu - May 14, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    Seems to me like this is the same fan base that when the Adams nominees were announced, just a few short weeks ago, were up in arms that DB wasn’t a finalist…

  30. maalea - May 14, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    For the love of god and money, don’t change a thing!!!!

    I love watching this train wreck every May.

    BTW maybe just maybe if 87 scores more than 1 goal in the last 17 playoff games, no one is talking about firing management.

  31. icrew29 - May 14, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    JAMIE KOMPON, if I was Mario this guy would be my new coach.

  32. tsi431 - May 14, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    No he shouldn’t be fired. This team was top 3 in the entire NHL during the regular season, where were the supposed leadership issues (Crosby) then?

    There never were any leadership issues. The difference is simple. Goaltending. When Fleury played adequately, the Pens won. When he didn’t, they lost.

    Same goes for the Rangers. When there goalie gave up 3-4 goals, they lost, when he held his own, they won.

  33. hockeydon10 - May 14, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    They should definitely keep Bylsma. I have to say I don’t mind seeing them drop out of the playoffs every year since that single (partial) season where he inherited the discipline and grit Therien instilled in the team.

  34. General37 - May 14, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    And this idiot was the USA coach in the Sochi Olympics ??

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