Skip to content

Pittsburgh’s AHL coach to interview for Pens gig

Jun 9, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins logo

One of the first candidates for the vacant Pittsburgh Penguins head coaching job has been announced.

AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coach John Hynes will be interviewed next week, GM Jim Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Hynes, 39, has spent the last five season at WBS and is the first official interviewee to be confirmed since Dan Bylsma was fired last week.

More, from the Trib:

Rutherford said then he had a short list of candidates to replace Bylsma, the Penguins’ leader in regular-season and playoff victories, and that official interviews will begin not before June 16. The Penguins will have a new coach by July 1, when free agency begins, Rutherford said.

As a coach, Hynes is reputable as a defensive-minded teacher that is unafraid to challenge players. Penguins’ prospects to play under Hynes have described him as tough, but also honest and fair.

He also is known for his in-series adjustments, including spearheading playoff victories when Wilkes-Barre/Scranton trailed 2-0 and 3-0.

Hynes has worked closely with Jason Botterill, Tom Fitzgerald and Bill Guerin during his time with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Botterill, Fitzgerald and Guerin were each retained and promoted by Rutherford.

Needless to say, Hynes is an interesting candidate. He’s coached at a number of different levels over the last decade — NCAA (Wisconsin), the US National Team Development Program, USA Hockey at both the U-18 and World Junior level and, of course, in the American League.

He’s also a product of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coaching tree.

The AHL club has enjoyed tremendous success sending bench bosses through to the NHL over the last 10-15 years. Todd Richards had the job before moving onto Minnesota and then Columbus; his successor was Byslma, who had the job for two years before jumping to the Penguins.

Bylsma’s successor, Todd Reirden, spent one year in WBS before moving to an assistant coaching gig with the Penguins, a job he still (tentatively) holds.

Other WBS coaches currently in the NHL include Wild bench boss Mike Yeo (who spent six seasons as an assistant) and Montreal’s Michel Therrien, who won the AHL’s Eastern Conference championship in 2004.

  1. whiskytango333 - Jun 9, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    “He also is known for his in-series adjustments, including spearheading playoff victories when Wilkes-Barre/Scranton trailed 2-0 and 3-0.”

    All I needed to hear. Hire him.

    • elmerbrownelmerbrown - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      Bankrupt in a few seasons

      • theageofquarrel - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:27 PM

        What would come first a triple crown winner in horse racing or the Flyers winning a Cup again?
        Triple crown definitely

      • elmerbrownelmerbrown - Jun 9, 2014 at 6:14 PM

        Well we know a bankruptcy for the pens will happen before a triple crown winner

      • whiskytango333 - Jun 9, 2014 at 7:46 PM

        67% increase in year over year value. Newest arena in the league. Cap friendly deals on the two biggest stars. Billionaire co-owner.

        I’m only assuming you don’t understand the concept of bankruptcy. Let me guess, a product of the Philadelphia City School System?

      • c9castine - Jun 9, 2014 at 10:58 PM

        pittsburgh is the 8th most valuable franchise while also being the 25th most populated NHL city.

        yeah, sure. bankrupt real soon.

  2. ravanator - Jun 9, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    Washington Capitals already hired the best available coach this off season. Barry Trotz will lead our great franchise to many titles. Pens waited to long, whoever they hire as HC will not be there long. Crosby is a coach killer. It’s great to sit back and watch this sinking ship in Pittsburgh. Cheers!


    • pdmjr - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:28 PM

      Barry Trotz is so over

    • 19to77 - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      Why is it specifically the Pens you’re so insecure about? Why not the Habs or the Rangers, or any other team that’s reamed your asses in the playoffs lately? Those teams knocked you out of the playoffs three of the last four years, until you guys decided to just do everyone a favour and go golfing early this season. What’s in Pittsburgh that’s got you so angst-ridden? They’re overrated as hell. Still better than the Caps, but so are at least 15 other teams.

      • theageofquarrel - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        He is garbage

      • c9castine - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:05 PM

        pens have a much longer history of eliminating the capitals than just the last 4 years.

        sounds like a convenient time line are you from boston?

  3. phtjoey - Jun 9, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    I like the fact that they are looking internally. My question though is, can he handle coaching superstars? Not always an easy task to coach the multi million a year boys.

    • c9castine - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:06 PM

      you get banned again buddy?

  4. adamal17 - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    From an outside point of view (wings fan) I would say this wouldn’t be bad. I wouldn’t be upset at all if the Wings hired Blashill (Our AHL coach for the griffins) if Babcock were to leave (and please god don’t leave). Mainly because of how well the new kids performed this year. The same goes in Pitt. Look how well they did with a record of man games lost. That speaks volumes for how great of a coach they had at the AHL level. If he’s not hired as the Pens coach this summer he will most likely be gone to an NHL team next summer. I didn’t like the choice for their GM…hopefully the Pens will make the right choice for a coach.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1752)
  2. P. Kane (1261)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1234)
  4. M. Richards (1081)
  5. M. Giordano (1080)