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Report: Pens to interview Desjardins; Stevens staying in L.A.?

Jun 18, 2014, 1:54 PM EDT

Dallas Stars Headshots Getty Images

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Willie Desjardins, who guided the Texas Stars to the AHL championship on Tuesday night, is a target to be interviewed for the Penguins’ vacancy, multiple team and league sources told the Tribune-Review.

We wrote a couple of weeks ago about the potential fit of Desjardins (a.k.a. Whiteboard Willie) in Pittsburgh, where new general manager Jim Rutherford is looking for “a coach that can make the proper adjustments during a game.”

Because you don’t get the nickname Whiteboard Willie without a knack for the X’s and O’s of hockey. (It also helps if your name is Willie.)

Marc Crawford, Ron Wilson and John Hynes are among the other reported candidates to replace Dan Bylsma, who may have a new job of his own shortly, with vacancies in Florida, Vancouver, and Carolina still to be filled.

The Penguins were also said to be interested in interviewing Kings assistant coach John Stevens; however, according to the Tribune-Review, they now “do not believe he intends to pursue one of the NHL’s four coach openings.”

There has been talk that Stevens may eventually take over from head coach Darryl Sutter in Los Angeles.

  1. storminator16 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    I’m a bit surprised no one is interested in Davis Payne, another L.A. assistant. Might even be a better choice than Stevens.

  2. killerpgh - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    My guess is if they hire him the will no longer make the player who score last in the team shootout at the end of the month grow a mustache for the next month as “punishment”. Unless the coach wants to point fun at himself. Other than that I like want I read about this guy, but like just about every other unproven potential head coach it’s hard to say how they would fit in on any team. Especially a team with probably the best player in the world and another player in the top 10. Whoever gets the Penguins job will potentially have a hard time after having a player friendly coach for the past 5 years and letting the inmates run the asylum for so long.

    • mangoman1966 - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:02 PM

      Players have been running the pens clubhouse since back in the days of lemeiux. Hell they ran Scotty bowman out of town

    • bmscalise - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      I’m so tired of hearing this narrative of players run wild.
      1) You have absolutely no insight into what the inner dynamics of the team were. None.

      2) No one – no child and particular no adult – performs well when they are constantly being yelled at as a form of discipline. No one wants that from a boss, and it never works. Ever. In fact, people perform better when they work in a positive environment – when they enjoy coming to work. The Pens performed well as a whole during Bylsma’s tenure and had an excellent record. They had flaws in the way they were built and bowed under the pressure of expectation. It was never a lack of effort.

      3) Bylsma got himself run out of town because he was too arrogant to realize his system didn’t work and because that system was too damn complicated to be adjusted during the game. He also refused to give any young player but Maatta a chance to play (and Bennett, sort of, though that was more by necessity). They rest – even those that weren’t particularly young like Bortuzzo – sat in the press box in favor of marginally competent “good guy” vets like Adams and Engelland.

      That was the problem – not too much player freedom.

  3. hockey412 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Was Jacques Martin even interviewed, anyone know?

    • hockey412 - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      I’m gathering from the number of thumbs down that I should already know the answer to this…

      • miketoasty - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        The only thing I remember reading about Martin was that he interviewed for another coaching gig, but I have seen nothing (From any of the trib writers on twitter or through the trib itself) saying anything about Martin getting a shot at the Pens coaching job. I don’t know how I would feel with him leading the Pens. Would definitely see a different team out there next season, but I don’t think he would get the job even if he was interviewed.

      • hockey412 - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        I don’t think he’d even be the best of the people they’ve interviewed so far, just curious. Thanks!

      • steelpenbucs87 - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        He interviewed with Carolina’s coaching job when Rutherford was still in Carolina before the announcement. No formal interview with the Pens has been reported.

        Absolutely no idea why there was so many thumbs down – if anything its kind of obscure.

  4. c9castine - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    theres not much for an assistant coach to gain by staying in LA unless your priorities are comfortability and stability over career advancement and new challenges.

    which is completely respectable, just not many guys are like that. most want to be “the man” and take their career as far as it can go.

    stevens had his chance, did well, lost it and then paid his dues in the league and had success doing it. he certainly deserves the chance to be a head coach again.

  5. pdmjr - Jun 19, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    The Pens are done interviewing and Dejardins isn’t being considered

  6. ducksk - Jun 19, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    Rutherford is not the guy. To bad. /s/ A former former pens fan.

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