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Category: Pittsburgh-Penguins

Who Would Make The Better Coach In Pittsburgh? A: Ron Wilson, B: Marc Crawford, C: Someone Else?

from TSN,

The Pittsburgh Penguins are scheduled to talk to Marc Crawford and Ron Wilson about their head coaching vacancy, TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported on Tuesday.

Crawford was the head coach of the Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars and coached 529 games with the Vancouver Canucks....

Wilson, 59, coached four NHL teams over the last two decades, including the Anaheim Ducks, Washington Capitals, San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs with a 648-561-101-91 record. He led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final in 1998.

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The Off-Season Plan For The Pittsburgh Penguins

from Scott Cullen of TSN,

The Pittsburgh Penguins have made the playoffs for eight years running, but losing in Game Seven of the second round this year caused them to clean house, firing GM Ray Shero and head coach Dan Bylsma.

Off-Season Game Plan looks at a Penguins team that has a new general manager, Jim Rutherford, and is still looking for a coach, but will surely expect to ice Cup contender next season.

It's a little difficult to forecast what next year's Penguins club will look like, not knowing yet who will be coaching, but it's safe to expect some significant turnover on the roster. Pittsburgh's third and fourth lines were obliterated for much of last season and many of those players are unrestricted free agents, so that's a starting point for change.

Then, pending free agent D Matt Niskanen is coming off a career year that should price him out of the Penguins' cap, as will Brooks Orpik, so there will be openings on the blueline for young defencemen to step in and play.

In goal, maybe the new regime sticks with Marc-Andre Fleury for the final year of his contract, or maybe they will be more aggressive and go for sweeping changes.

continued

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Five Years Ago The Pittsburgh Penguins Celebrated, Now…

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

As for what precisely happened over these past five years, there is no easy answer. Lots of things happened. At various times, the Penguins were undone by bad coaching, bone-headed plays, questionable roster building, thin drafts, cap issues, leadership vacuums, poor goaltending and stars wilting at the biggest moments.

It's been a team effort.

Then there are two significant factors that rarely see the light of day, because, you know, the Penguins were supposed to cruise to multiple Cup wins. These are not intended to excuse Bylsma, who easily could have been fired after the Philly flop and should have been after the Boston blowout.

They are just true:

1. Injuries. The Penguins were robbed of a significant chunk of their allotted time with the “Big Three.” Between 2010-11 and 2011-12 — Staal's final two seasons here — Crosby, Malkin and Staal combined to miss 207 regular-season games. Malkin and Crosby missed the '11 playoffs, when the Penguins seemed poised to roll through the East.

2. Good opponents. A terribly inconvenient fact, I know, but there really were TWO teams on the ice in every series.

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Two Views About The New GM In Pittsburgh

from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Guerin, 43, and Fitzgerald, 45 will be there, too, Rutherford made clear: “I will give them big roles, a lot to say.”

Honestly, it's hard not to be excited about this part in particular. All three, I can attest, are hungry. All are deeply invested in the franchise. And all you'd need to see to believe that was Guerin on Friday, all suit-and-tied, smiling ear to ear, shaking hands like he'd won the Powerball. It was pure joy, the kind that's been missing with this franchise for too long. When he beamed, “We're all going to work together to get back to our winning ways,” you could almost see him pulling on that No. 13 sweater.

It'll be fun watching this group, kind of a Generation X front office, choose a head coach in its image, oversee a draft, decide on Matt Niskanen and Kris Letang, swing trades and whatever else.

Some think this is about Rutherford. It isn't. He's a steward. A “mentor,” as he labeled himself. He's here to steer the ship through a critical time while also setting it on the next course.

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from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Firing Ray Shero as Penguins general manager was one thing. You can make a strong argument the team is old, soft and top-heavy and that it badly underachieved in the playoffs the past five seasons, losing to lower seeds. That was the position taken by Penguins president David Morehouse three weeks ago when he announced Shero was out to the surprise of many in the hockey world who thought Shero deserved better. But hiring Jim Rutherford as the new general manager Friday? Rutherford was pushed aside in Carolina after the Hurricanes failed to make the postseason in each of the past five seasons. He is 65, deep into the back nine of his long NHL career. This is the Penguins’ idea of a step up? Conducting what Morehouse called a “thorough” search involving 30 applicants and 22 interviewees and settling for a discard from one of the league’s worst hockey clubs? It makes no sense.

Keeping Shero would have been better.

continued

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  Tags: jim+rutherford

Live Stream- Pittsburgh Penguins News Conference

The Pittsburgh Penguins are expected to announce Jim Rutherford as their new General Manager.

It is scheduled to start at 1:00pm ET and you can watch it below...

added 12:52pm,

 

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Looks Like Jim Rutherford Will Be The New GM In Pittsburgh

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+rutherford

Pittsburgh Penguins GM Candidate Pierre McGuire

from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Set aside whatever you think about how he comes across as an NBC commentator ­— yes, “Brooks Or-PECK,” too — and isolate on his NHL resume: He began as a scout with the Penguins in 1990. A year later, he was an assistant coach and remained so for the Stanley Cups in 1991-92. The next year, he took the same job in Hartford. A year after that, he was assistant GM, then a month later head coach. It was a rapid ascent, but he flamed out just as quickly after going 23-37-7. Pat Verbeek, a winger on that team, famously called his coach's firing “the best thing that could ever have happened to the Whalers.” Moving on to Ottawa, McGuire scouted, then was assistant coach in 1995 until being fired within three months....

McGuire had to bottom-feed with the ECHL for his next job, coaching the Baton Rouge Kingfish to seventh place, then tore up the rest of a three-year contract to try broadcasting.

He quit. He quit hockey. He never again coached, scouted or generally managed anything. He called games, learned names, memorized players' hometowns, dressed nice and shook a whole lot of hands.

I'm going to type this yet again: This could be your next GM, Pittsburgh.

Oh, for real. It isn't by accident that his name has gone public with no response from the Penguins, even behind the scenes. Trust me, given the laughingstock they've become over this across the continent, they'd have quashed this in a heartbeat if motivated. Nor is it by accident that McGuire has felt comfortable discussing the job in radio interviews. In one, he felt bold enough to say Shero “probably didn't deserve to get fired.”...

I'll ask again: What's going on here?

more, including additional candidates...



 

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  Tags: pierre+mcguire

Why Or Why Not- Pierre McGuire As The Next GM Of The Pittsburgh Penguins

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Pierre has friends and enemies in the game. That is normal when you've been navigating the NHL's shark-infested waters as long as he has. He knows everybody. He's a legendary schmoozer.

Do I think he's the right person to replace Ray Shero as Penguins general manager?

Wow. That is a question I never dreamed we'd be pondering. Pierre is the talk of the town in the wake of his second interview with Penguins brass, including co-owners Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux, this past weekend.

As early as Tuesday, the Penguins could name a GM.

What if it's Pierre?

I am of two minds. One says, “Bad idea, PR nightmare.” The other says, “Why not?”

Perhaps unfairly, I tend to view Pierre the way I viewed Russ Grimm when he was after the Steelers coaching job. Both seem more like the guy who buys you a beer and talks about the organization rather than the guy actually leading it.

Pierre is a media guy. Has been for a long time. He's one of us!

He also has a pleasantly quirky personality that could lead one to believe he is more suited for court jester than king.

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  Tags: pierre+mcguire

It’s No Longer The Sid And Ovie Show

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

You certainly get the sense that this may be the point at which the Penguins and Capitals aren’t really linked any more, or at least not as much. They’re as different as they are alike.

Players like Steven Stamkos, Henrik Lundqvist, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf and Anze Kopitar have caught up to Nos. 87 and 8 when it comes to the best and brightest of NHL stars.

Beyond that, nobody sees Pittsburgh and Washington as teams with limitless futures any more.

The golden talents of Crosby and Ovechkin allowed these two clubs to exist above the muck for years. Now they’re in it with most everybody else.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, sidney+crosby

Sidney Crosby Is Not A Coach-Killer

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Crosby's playoff performance is fair game for criticism. He wasn't very good last season, either, when the Penguins were swept by the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference final. He didn't have a point in the four games. You expect so much more from the so-called best player in the world, the man who ran away with the NHL scoring title this season and surely will be named the MVP when the league hands out its awards next month.

But many of the personal attacks on Crosby since the Rangers series have been unfair, unjustified and untrue. Talk about way over the top. It has been amazing, yet sad, to watch a sports icon here take such a hard fall. It has been so bad in some places for Crosby that even his dad, Troy, has been a target of blame for being too much of a meddling father. It really has been pretty silly.

Crosby is not a bad guy. He is not a bad teammate. He is not a bad captain or a bad leader. Most of all, he is not a coach-killer.

By playing poorly, Crosby didn't do his bosses any favors. It's fair to think general manager Ray Shero wouldn't have been fired if the Penguins had finished off the Rangers, no matter how they would have done against the Montreal Canadiens in the next round.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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