Pens’ chairman Lemieux may order ouster of coach Bylsma
The call on Dan Bylsma’s future behind the Penguins’ bench may not be Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero’s to make.
Several individuals within the industry have told Slap Shots Penguins chairman Mario Lemieux, distressed by his team’s fourth straight failure to get out of the Eastern Conference after consecutive trips to the Finals in 2008 and 2009, the latter culminating with a Stanley Cup victory, may instruct Shero to dismiss the coach.
There already is chatter out of Pittsburgh about how the Penguins failed to “adapt” or “adjust” to the Bruins in the Eastern finals sweep — during which they never held the lead, were limited to two goals overall and were shut out on the power play. All those areas generally are the purview of the coaching staff.
Someone likely is to pay for the debacle that followed a series of moves at the trade deadline in which Pittsburgh sacrificed four draft picks and three prospects to acquire rental properties Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray, not one of whom came close to making a difference once the Penguins stepped up in class.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury all but certainly will become someone else’s reclamation project following a fourth straight subpar playoff performance and second consecutive tournament meltdown. Maybe Florida, away from expectations and off the hockey grid, could work for Fleury, who has a .880 save percentage, 3.18 goals-against average and 14-16 record the last four postseasons after going .920, 2.31 and 30-14 during the back-to-back runs to the Finals.