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Bylsma’s chances of starting 2014-15 as a head coach are dwindling

Jun 22, 2014, 1:35 PM EDT

Dan Bylsma AP

When the Pittsburgh Penguins fired Dan Bylsma it sent a wave through the coaching market, but as the waters calm it looks like every team that had a vacancy will pass on the former Stanley Cup and Jack Adams winner.

The Carolina Hurricanes ultimately hired former Detroit Red Wings assistant coach Bill Peters while the Florida Panthers have announced that Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Gerard Gallant will serve as their next bench boss. That just leaves the Vancouver Canucks, who seems likely to hire Willie Desjardins after he reportedly turned down Bylsma’s old job.

So unless a new vacancy presents itself — and at this point that’s very unlikely — it looks like Bylsma will probably be unemployed going into the 2014-15 campaign. That’s not a horrible scenario for him though and he’ll be a top candidate to serve as a in-season replacement for any squad that fires their coach at that point. That’s how he got his big break in the first place and it was as an in-season replacement that he won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009.

When he does eventually find a new employer, he will bring 400 games worth of NHL head coaching experience to the table. Among bench bosses that have overseen at least that many games, he ranks first all-time with a .670 points percentage in the regular season.

  1. YouppiKiYay - Jun 22, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    So then, two questions:

    1) On which TV panel does he start the year?
    2) Which team will gas their coach and turn to Bylsma?

    I’ll say:
    1) TSN.
    2) Toronto, since the Carlyle extension was mystifying when it happened.

  2. esracerx46 - Jun 22, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    The extension Toronto gave Wilson after he asked for an extension from Santa was mind boggling as well. I’ll go with the Isles getting rid of Capuano. I think they’d have to can Snow first though. Best bet probably is Toronto.

    • 19inarow - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:21 AM

      The fact that Bylsma doesn’t have a job and Capuano does is mind-boggling. .670 winning percentage. Garth? Bueller? Anyone home?

  3. pastabelly - Jun 22, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Yup, the Penguins had the talent and were a dysfunctional underachieving team. I suppose there’s good reason Bylsma’s chances are dwindling.

  4. bencia823 - Jun 22, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Bylsma would have a job if he wasn’t making so much in severance. The Pens are paying him more to not coach then a lot of teams pay their coaches during the season

  5. mshantz22 - Jun 22, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Wouldn’t be surprised if he was picked up on a short-term assistant gig. Now that Detroit has a vacancy, I wonder if they’ll give Bylsma a call.

    • adamal17 - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      I don’t get the thumbs down for your comment. Disco Dan is from Grand Haven (That’s on the West side of Michigan for those of you not familiar). He’s openly said he was a wings and Northstars fan growing up. So him taking a gig for a year in Mini or Detroit isn’t far fetched at all. Seeing as how pretty much every assistant under Babcock ends up turning in to a head coach within a year or two; or revitalizes their career (Tom Renney has had a few interviews since his debacle in Edmonton). It wouldn’t be a surprise at all if Bylsma ends up as an assistant next year; and I’d be surprised if it wasn’t in Detroit or Mini.

  6. bleedrangerblue - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Call me stupid I liked Renney when he coached the Rangers.

    • adamal17 - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:29 PM

      He’s a great coach; just got a raw deal in Edmonton with them “rebuilding” (like they have for the past umpteen years). I met him up in Traverse City last year. Great guy, great coach and he works amazingly with young talent (hence why he started with your Rangers in player development). Just look at how the young Wings progressed this year. He actually did well in NY as a head coach as well, just couldn’t get deep in the playoffs.

  7. snipedanglecelly13 - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    Thought of having two jack Adam winners behind the bench in Babcock and bylsma does sound pretty nice. But I don’t think it will happen

    • pwshrugged - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      If the Wings bring on Bylsma, they’ll only have one Jack Adams Award winner behind the bench – Bylsma.

      Babcock has never won the award.

  8. Hard to BeLeaf - Jun 22, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    Don’t worry about Bylsma. Even if he doesn’t have a job to start the season, there’s always coaches who get fired eventually. I know Randy Carlyle’s job is on thin ice.

  9. c9castine - Jun 22, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    i see no reason why he would rush into a situation he doesnt love.

  10. sumkat - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:16 AM

    I said is when he got fired, he should wait until next season when there are better/more positions available. No reason for him to jump into a job he doesn’t like, or sign on with a team on it’s way down the tubes (they can’t be doing well if they fire their coach in season). Next off-season, he may start to get a little desperate, and take any job he can get, you don’t want to spend too long out of the game, or your name stops appearing on people’s interview list. But right now, I don’t see why he would take that Vancouver job, and he’s be better off starting a fresh season than picking up mid season and trying to implement a new system mid stream

  11. girouxsalem89 - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    It could also be that… *gasp* … teams don’t think he is a very good coach considering the severe under performance of a superstar roster in the playoffs and his horrible mishandling of the US Olympic team.

    This guy is, and always has been, overrated.

  12. pwshrugged - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Bylsma reminds me of Ron Gardenhire (of the Minnesota Twins) a lot. He revels in victory and is heralded as a genius, but looks completely lost in defeat and gets completely blasted. Both men, I think, are very much dependent on their rosters. Bylsma came into a very good young Penguins team and won a Cup with them. He maintained success, then really had to scrape for it as poor front office moves started to hinder the roster.

    Like Gardenhire, I don’t think Bylsma is a particularly great coach, nor do I think he’s a particularly bad coach. He’s certainly overrated, but I still think he’s an above-average coach in the league. But he’s not a guy who’s going to scheme the opposition out of their pads, and he hasn’t proved himself to be a guy who can turn a young stud into a consistent performer.

    I think the stink of the USA collapse in the Olympics is still on him a bit, and may be stopping him from finding a job now, but as other posters mention – he’s probably (and wisely) content to take his severance and wait for a better opening to present itself. He’ll be the first name on everyone’s lips when that first would-be contender starts to slip in the fall, and let’s not forget – he won his only Cup as a mid-season replacement.

  13. paulerhythm - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    Disco Dan will coach again. Some one will want to hire him due to his lone Cup win, just saying.

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