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Report: Penguins firing GM Shero, coach Bylsma this morning

May 16, 2014, 10:06 AM EDT

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have announced a press conference for 11:30 a.m. ET. They didn’t reveal the details of it ahead of time, but it will be to announce the firings of general manager Ray Shero and head coach Dan Bylsma, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Bylsma’s dismal doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Although he won the Stanley Cup in 2009 and Jack Adams Award in 2011, the Penguins have been underwhelming in their recent postseason. They’ve had the talent to make a serious run at the Stanley Cup on an annual basis and that just hasn’t happened.

More importantly, this move was telegraphed by a recent report, which suggested that the Penguins’ ownership had soured to Bylsma. There were also reports that Bylsma lost the locker room, although Sidney Crosby denied that.

Shero’s future was seen as a bit less certain. He won the GM of the Year award in 2013 and had secured favorable contracts for the likes of forwards James Neal, Chris Kunitz, and Pascal Dupuis. He also acquired Jussi Jokinen during the 2013 campaign for next to nothing and Jokinen turned out to be a significant contributor for the Penguins this season.

That being said, it looks like the Penguins want a fresh start as they look to change the course of the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin-era before it’s too late.

  1. capsnbohs23 - May 16, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    I bet a month ago pens fans didnt think they would be in the same boat as the caps. welcome to the club

    • bru308 - May 16, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      A month ago, yeah we had a feeling… The pens were playing some rough hockey in March. If you had said 2 months ago, I would completely agree.

      But no hockey fan should be surprised, as the Pens are an underachieving team with some of the best talent in the league. Someone(s) had to get canned.

      • Steeley McBeam - May 16, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        Well youre either underacheving or dont have the talent. The fact that Shero put together some of the best talent in the league, like you said, Bylsma just couldnt get the best out of it.

        Why in the world Shero was fired I will never understand.

      • whammy71 - May 16, 2014 at 10:48 AM

        If you are truly Steeley McBeam….then I can see where you don’t understand.

        Terrible drafts…no forward depth at the NHL level…not only not firing Bylsma last year – but gave him an extension…Letang’s contract…Scudari signing…traded for too many “leaders” last year when everything was going great…didn’t do enough at this year’s deadline when things weren’t going great…going back in time, letting Hossa dictate things after losing to the RWs – and then lost his services….this is all off the top of my head….give me time and I could probably expand on this.

      • bru308 - May 16, 2014 at 10:54 AM

        Because Shero reupped Bylsma for 2 more years after Bylsma led the Pens to several years of playoff failures. Not hard to understand. Shero took Bylsma’s back and it cost him his job.

        And you might want to check Shero’s drafts there Steeley… I wouldn’t give Shero credit for all the “talent” I was referring to.

      • 950003cups - May 16, 2014 at 11:00 AM

        If you can’t see why they were both fired, than you really don’t get it. They underachieved to a small degree. Keeping Fleury wasn’t too bright. The team was in contention to win. Butr then Fleury gave up 10 goals in three series clinching games, and the team scored three goals to help out.

        Firing Shero was just Mario Lemieux throwing another crybaby tantrum. But Bylsma had to go.

    • m1k3g - May 16, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      I am a pens fan. You’re right. I made this same comment to my brother two days ago.

      • bobhpine - May 16, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        The Capitals didn’t even make the playoffs bub. I’d say the Pens boat is crippled and needs to be fixed. I ‘d say the Capitals boat is at the bottom of the ocean.

      • capsnbohs23 - May 16, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        LOL the caps boat is not at the bottom of the ocean, they missed the playoffs by 4 points with our AHL defense and terrible coaching

      • bobhpine - May 16, 2014 at 10:49 AM

        You’ve had Ovechkin for how long? 9 years. He’s never been past the second round and he’s careening towards 30. I’m sure his compete level will only skyrocket as he gets older and his skills start to erode.

        How many playoff series has Ovechkin won?

        Three. In his career. 3.

      • capsnbohs23 - May 16, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        Im sorry, I thought hockey was a team sport? Why is it when the pens lose its everyone’s fault but crosby’s and when the caps lose its all on Ovi?

      • jaybaileys - May 16, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        please don’t whine about the caps injuries, nobody had more than the Pens this year and even at that, none cares they blew it and change was needed.

      • capsnbohs23 - May 16, 2014 at 11:25 AM

        when did i say anything about injuries?

    • elmerbrownelmerbrown - May 16, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      F da pens

    • patthehockeyfan - May 16, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      Pittsburgh’s TribLive is reporting that Shero’s been axed. No mention of Bylsma.

      (I see the reference in the story to TSN.)

  2. clayman61 - May 16, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    I’d like to see them both go to Vancouver if this happens..

    • jovocop2112 - May 16, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Blysma yes, Shero no – His draft record is only slightly better then Gillis’. I can’t handle another few years of drafting nobodies outside the first round.

  3. esracerx46 - May 16, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Wow. Bold move. Time will tell if its the right one. I could see one going, but both going I don’t think is the right one.

  4. pens87 - May 16, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Surprised at Shero in all honesty. Just last year taking home GM of the year after being praised as “hero shero” for getting Iginla and Marrow. I’ve liked the moves he’s made in the past, and he did draft some good young defensemen this year. But I suppose when a change is needed, a change is needed. Hope it works out in the long run.

    Not a doubt in my mind both of these guys will be coaching/GMing somewhere in the league next year. Can’t help but wonder where. Wouldn’t shock me if one/both of them ended up in DC but who knows…

  5. sharksfan97 - May 16, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    Wow, wow, wow. Can the Sharks ownership now please rethink retaining Doug Wilson? #hireshero

  6. flyboystransport - May 16, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    I don’t get why both were fired. Shero had to sign the corner stones to the contracts they got and everybody ultimately knew if was gonna screw their cap situation up. Fire the coach and trade a major player which will light a fire quicker

    • bru308 - May 16, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      I think Shero took Bylsma’s back last year after another Penguins playoffs collapse. In the end, that decision probably got him fired.

      • steelpenbucs87 - May 16, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        Agreed – I think Shero tied himself to Bylsma and now they’re both going (although suspect drafting didn’t help).

        Shero will be fleecing folks for another team very soon.

    • bobhpine - May 16, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      Shero wasn’t fired for signing 87 and 71. He was fired for signing Rob Scuderi, re-upping Bylsma after a playoff collapse, acquiring zero team toughness, and drafting HORRIBLY.

      Seriously. Look at the Penguins drafts. It’s Jordan Staal, Olli Maata, Matt Moulson (who he gave away for nothing), Beau Bennett (aka Erik Christensen only fragile!) and a bunch of garbage….in 8 YEARS

      Orpik, Crosby, Malkin, Kennedy, Talbot, Fleury, Letang…all Patrick picks.

      • dchambers144 - May 16, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        @bobhpine: You actually name some of his better picks. Staal is a very good NHL’er; granted he was drafted ahead of players that turned out better (Toews, Giroux) but the draft is still a bit of a crap shoot. Right now I don’t think there is a GM in the league that doesn’t think Maata is a solid first round pick. The question marks are that he drafted all D-men recently and the system is devoid of high end offensive talent. That and questionable deployment of players (Iginla on the wrong wing), etc.

    • apkyletexas - May 16, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      I think ownership probably just decided if they were getting a new coach, they should just get a new GM in place right now so he would be bringing his own guy in. What would be bad would be firing Bylsma this year, hiring his replacement, and then firing Shero next year and making his replacement work with the new coach. Complete overhaul upstairs.

      • bobhpine - May 16, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        I agree on Maatta. And Derrick Puliot is apparently a stud, but there is zero forward depth and zero toughness (Pouliot and Maatta are not physical defensemen to boot).

        Look at the Blue Jackets. They got Johensen, Jenner and Atkinson in the same draft. Sure they are no Crosby and Malkin, but getting those guys had nothing to do with Shero’s brilliance. Shero should have this team stocked with contributing, solid, tough forward and not even ONE of those guys exists in their system. No one is asking for another superstar, just NHL forwards who can contribute. He has drafted none of those guys

        The Blackhawks have been just as low in the draft as the Pens and they recently got Shaw and Saad. It IS possible to get good players with picks that aren’t at the top of the board. Shero hasn’t done that and eventually it rots the team. Goc and Stempniak were such “chasing your tail” kind of moves, trying to get players (in return for MORE draft picks) to fill roles on the third line that internal guys (the Max Talbot guys of yore) SHOULD have filled. Shero has been awful. Period.

  7. AlexOvechkinMinus35 - May 16, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    I hear McPhee is available. He works wonders!

    • capsnbohs23 - May 16, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      McPhee actually isnt that bad but you wouldnt know that, all you know about the caps is Ovi is a minus 35

      • AlexOvechkinMinus35 - May 16, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        I’d be happy to recite all of the Capitals failures in the playoffs if those memories weren’t so ancient.

      • capsnbohs23 - May 16, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        How are the caps playoff failures any different than other teams playoffs failures

  8. dadamson1955 - May 16, 2014 at 10:18 AM


  9. earpaniac - May 16, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    Shero wins the trade deadline every year, and can’t draft a forward if his life depended on it. And don’t give me the “draft defense men to trade for forwards” stuff. He did that ONCE with one of his picks, and even though it got a nice return, it still has to be regarded as a failure.

  10. phillyphever - May 16, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    So….what now for Pittsburgh? Who’s the leader in the clubhouse to replace them?

    • steelpenbucs87 - May 16, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      My guess is the short list for coach includes Trotz, John Hynes (current AHL Head Coach), and maybe Guy Boucher.

      For GM – Jason Botterill is the name to watch. Current Assistant GM and very well regarded by ownership – consistently upped his salary to stop other teams from poaching him.

      • pdmjr - May 16, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        Botterill is interim and Trotz is not worthy. They want Babcock at any price

      • steelpenbucs87 - May 16, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        If Trotz is “not worthy” they are going to struggle to find someone who is worthy. There aren’t that many names out there right now. I would love Babcock but I just don’t think he’s going to agree to it.

        Botterill will be interim certainly but I also think he has a shot at the permanent job as well.

      • cityofthechamps - May 16, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        Mark Madden says the Mike Babcock is interested. With only one year left in his contract, he may try to move to Pittsburgh. That is if he can get away from Detroit.

      • c1md6 - May 16, 2014 at 11:25 AM

        Lol there’s a pipe dream if I ever heard of it, Mike Babcock will never leave Detroit for the penqueens. I mean why you’re at it make a run at Scotty Bowman and Don Cherry, lmao penguin “fans”, wasn’t this team going bankrupt before they acquired Crosby from lack of ticket sales? Now all these yuppies bought a Crosby jersey and everyone suddenly is a “diehard fan”

  11. montrealbbr - May 16, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    What a joke Pittsburgh has turned out to be. Not sure who they could get in there that would be able to get Crosby to start leading his team instead of just complaining to the officials, his coach and anyone else that will listen.

    • bru308 - May 16, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      Montreal would take Crosby and his 104 regular season points all day long. That’s 44 more points than Montreal’s leading scorer Max Pacioretty (No I’m not counting Vanek).

      So just stop. You look like an idiot. Sure Crosby has his issues, but he’s still a fantastic player.

      • montrealbbr - May 16, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        How many points did Crosby put up in the postseason? You know, when they really matter. He is a great regular season player but the last two years he has been terrible when the team has really needed him the most.

        Crosby’s spearing has really improved this year though. I will give him that.

      • bru308 - May 16, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        So you’re saying if you were the GM of a NHL team, you wouldn’t take Crosby?


        You’re a freaking genius. I might be a Pens fan, but I’m not stupid enough to say I wouldn’t take Giroux just because the Flyers missed the playoffs last year and exited round 1 this year. I would take Giroux on my team- and I hate that guy. So hate Crosby if you want, but stop acting like he sucks.

  12. jweipp17 - May 16, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Shero and Bylsma aren’t the problem. The head case in net is their problem. Get a new goalie.

    • steelpenbucs87 - May 16, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      Could be both…. it is actually both in this case.

  13. ducksk - May 16, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Mario will bring in the Canuck old school French connection. It will destroy the pens. Good luck on finding better GM and coaching staff.

  14. joewilliesshnoz - May 16, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    The same two that couldn’t win with the U.S.A. Team in Sochi, proves that they can’t win with the best talent in the NHL. Don’t let the door hit ya boys.

  15. nyrnashty - May 16, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    In a cap era, no one should expect the Pens or any other team to be any better than at least 10-15 other teams in the league that are will to spend close to, or at the cap ceiling at the beginning of the year. This is the beauty of the cap, there aren’t any teams like the Yankees or Redsox (and a few others) that ruin the sport due to the amount of money they spend to try and buy a championship. The cap was at 64 million this year and it’s only going to 71 next year, which will give majority of teams a realistic shot any season in the future.

    Parity is at it’s all time high, that’s why no one is winning 3-4 cups in a row any more. Pittsburgh shouldn’t be considered favorites just because they have a few great players, so do many other teams in the league now. That’s the beauty of the cap. The writiers can say what they want going into a season, but it’s close to impossible to say this team is better than that one (top 10-15 teams) you just have to wait and see, which is one of the best parts about the sport. It seems like the upper echelon team with the most will and desire along with talent and lack of injuries will win the cup moving forward and that can be at least half the league any given season. Chicago is the only team that can be considered anything close to a dynasty if they win this year since the cap year started in 05-06.

    • 16thearlofderby - May 16, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      parity at all time high duh 1982 last time sc was won 3 in a row NYI

      • nyrnashty - May 16, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        Bahahaha you don’t get it!

  16. ewoods6 - May 16, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    I see Bylsma. Firing Shero is a mistake.

  17. hanrahan5535 - May 16, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Pens are not in the same boat as the caps. Not even close

    • capsnbohs23 - May 16, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      Both teams had their playoff runs for 5-6 years granted the pens did a little more but now both teams are making changes so they can get back to making a run. Both teams are now 3-4 players away from being at the top and both teams have some young prospects to look forward too. Pretty similar situations

  18. penvik - May 16, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Shero had to be fired. I started watching this team this year knowing exactly how it would end. And the Penguins didn’t disappoint. The players on this team were never good enough to win a cup.

    They SHOULD have however never have lost to the Rags. The ECF is tainted this season. But that’s Bylsma and now he’s paying for it.
    Shero built an average team, Crosby and Malkin carry this team around all by themselves and that’s on the GM. Shero couldn’t realize that Neal, Kunitz, Dupuis, etc. are exactly the same as Colby Armstrong, Sid and Gino make them who they are, look at there stats before they got here, that’s what they truly are. Bring in some actual winger talent and guys who can carry themselves and watch out!!

    • nyrnashty - May 16, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      Can’t bring in upper talent wingers they cost 6-7 million already blew your money on a few guys. Check yoiur cap for details.

    • chanceoffleury - May 16, 2014 at 10:44 PM

      I mean, I’m all for criticism but Armstrong? really, that bad?

      Kunitz’s numbers aren’t different from when he played in Anaheim aside from the pace he was on last year. Kunitz is also the only winger the Pens have that sits his butt in front of the net and cleans up the crease on a regular basis, too. And Mike Babcock, with a roster full of all the riches a hockey coach could dream of, took a good while trying to find somebody to play with Crosby. Both Malkin and Crosby have made it clear at this point they’re harder to play with than one would think. If you put players on Crosby’s line he doesn’t click with, he just looks like he’s making blind passes to nobody. If Malkin doesn’t trust the players on his line, he will *not* pass it to them. He just starts trying to do it by himself if he keeps setting guys up and they’re not finishing on good setup passes.

      And Neal is more than anything just very streaky. In December/January after his suspension, Neal went on a tear. Malkin played in no more than maybe 3 or 4 of those games. I think Neal just really needs a coach to come in and reign him in. Although it is the case with many guys on the Pens, Neal in particular needs a coach that comes in and teaches him how to funnel that energy into getting breakaways and making big (LEGAL) hits to stay in control and keep the momentum swinging the Pens’ way. 40+ goal scorers don’t grow on trees. If I’m the Pens I die trying to reform Neal before I trade him. He’s got a good cap hit for as much as he can produce, and it’s longterm on a 26 year old who probably hasn’t even hit his stride yet. Don’t trade him unless you are absolutely sure what you’re getting in return is at least one long term investment piece.

      I actually think the Pens should try moving Neal onto Crosby’s right side. Malkin has got a fantastic shot, and he needs to use it more. Not to say Crosby doesn’t, but I’d just like to see the Pens try it. I’ve seen a lot of people suggest Letang moving to forward even if that’s not what he wants, and Malkin’s right wing could be a good place to try that. He’s a righty, he’s fast enough to keep up with 71, and he’s a pass first guy who can set Malkin up. I’m still on the fence about whether changing positions is what’s best with Letang, but at this point I think it’s worth a try. Especially if Niskanen would somehow get resigned and Maatta gets more comfortable and really establishes himself as a reliable top puck carrier for the blue line. The Pens don’t need every single defenseman to be a puck carrying one.

  19. mcdall20 - May 16, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    I heard James Neal kneed them both in the head on the way out the door

  20. thailer35 - May 16, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    Dadoun, that second paragraph is dismal, meaning depressing or dreary. I think you meant dismissal* and postseasons* <–plural.

  21. kastout11 - May 16, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    I never like seeing guys lose their jobs, but being a Flyers fan and knowing these guys will find jobs probably during this offseason, this could not make me happier. The new GM and head coach they get will not be better then what they are firing today. Whoever they select, those guys will not be able to stop pucks. I don’t blame any of the last few years failures on Shero or Bylsma. This year the team was banged up all year and had no continuity, they were just steamrolled by the B’s last year, Fleury is at fault the 3 years before that. Shero is the best GM in the business and it is a joke that he is about to be fired. They will not get a coach near the level of Bylsma, so go ahead Mario fire them both. In Philly, I guess we will not have to worry about the Penguins anymore.

  22. whiskytango333 - May 16, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Bylsma was a foregone conclusion. In retrospect, I suppose shero shouldn’t be a surprise either. He gave up a wealth of draft picks in those trade deadline deals, which could jeopardize the future of the team. Adding insult to injury, there were few of those deals that worked favorably.

    I think at some point ownership looked at the bottom six forwards, saw the payroll, and thought to themselves. “WTF”. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised after the new GM is named that a big time player is moved in order to acquire more team depth.

  23. penguins87and71 - May 16, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    I agree with the Byslma firing, but I think it’s a terrible mistake to fire Ray Shero, he has been one of the best GM’s in the league.

  24. ralphwilsonisrich - May 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Gee it took the sabres how long to get rid Regier and Ruff. Pegula is trying to model the franchise after Pitts. Sure he is!

  25. jaybaileys - May 16, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    I think firing Shero is what the money guy wanted not Mario, but in the end if thats what they decided so be it. He does fairly well in trades but his FA signings have been iffy of late and the fact he has failed to develop any forwards of note is pretty troubling if you’ve determined the strength of the team is your centers. They need young wingers for Sid and Geno and Bennett can’t stay healthy enough to even let them get a look. When Dupuis went down they had no answer unlike when the D men all got hurt they had plenty to bring up from Wilkes Barre.
    As far as who will replace them, maybe Tom Fitzgerald GM and Rick Tocchet as Head Coach. Trotz I thought would be good to develop all the young defenseman but yday heard he isn’t to kean on prominent Russians after what happen with Radulov. Malkin is a dieffernent story for me he’s signed and been here for awhile but whatever. Press Confernce in a few minutes so all the details will be soon.

  26. jaybaileys - May 16, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Wow fired Shero but not the coaches. Botterill steps in as interim GM

  27. jernster21 - May 16, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Welp, Bylsma still has his job up to this point.

  28. bills4 - May 16, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Why Shero, he built a great team. He made the smart move of drafting Crosby, Malkin, and Fleury. 3 brilliant decisions.

    • jernster21 - May 16, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      He also got rid of all the depth players he had which is the reason they won the cup in the first place. Drafting super stars is the result of being bad for so long is relatively straight forward – the hard part is finding the players to build around those super stars to compete for a Stanley Cup.

    • bgrillz - May 16, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      He didn’t draft the, Craig Patrick did. His first draft pick was Jordan Staal.

    • bru308 - May 16, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      Hey bills4,

      good post, bro.

      – Craig Patrick

  29. 16thearlofderby - May 16, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    bylsma not fired yet botterill gm for now

  30. cmbluesus - May 16, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Writer should feel a little foolshh for his headline. Obviously not fact checked.

    Really dont understand this one unless Shero refused to fire Bylsma.

  31. courtjester1234 - May 16, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    As a Flyers fan I would have to say the Pens had a great team on paper that didn’t translate. Into success on the ice. You guys are way too talented to not right the ship and be back to actually fighting for a Cup. One big hole I see as an outsider is you goalie doesn’t show up in April May and June… But neither has my Flyers, thanks to the Bryz

  32. frankm1975 - May 17, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    So the team that’s famous for lacking toughness is hiring someone to fire Dan Bylsma. Way to fight those stereotypes, guys.

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