Kukla's Korner Hockey
Sounds like ownership trying to distance itself from some of the mess the team currently finds itself in after annual attempts to bring in pieces to another Stanley Cup puzzle fell short.
Did Shero really acquire Jarome Iginla, Brendan Morrow, Douglas Murray and Jussi Jokinen at last year's deadline without getting ownership's blessing? Come on.
And, going back further, did ownership not push Shero to grab Marian Hossa (and Pascal Dupuis) from Atlanta? Or Bill Guerin?
-Scott Burnside of ESPN where you can read more on the Penguins...
The Pittsburgh Penguins have scheduled a news conference for 11:30am ET today.
You can watch it below and as Bob McKenzie reported, Ray Shero and Dan Bylsma have been fired.
added 11:36am, Penguins release is below, no mention of Bylsma being fired but in the press conference, it was mentioned the new GM will evaluate the coaching position.
added 11:43am, Press conference is over.
via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The Pittsburgh Penguins will hold a news conference today at 11:30 a.m. in the media room at CONSOL Energy Center.
added 9:43am, Here you go..
added 9:54am, another McKenzie tweet,
PIT assistant GM Jason Botterill likely to take over on an interim basis. Shero likely to immediately become frontrunner for GM job in WSH.
from Wes Crosby at NHL.com,
Two days after being eliminated by the New York Rangers in seven games in the Eastern Conference Second Round, Penguins players reflected on another failed Stanley Cup Playoff run but avoided looking toward the future. They were consistent in their belief that the relationship between the players and coach Dan Bylsma and his staff was not fractured.
"You're going to hear a lot of that stuff and a lot of negativity and a lot of different rumors," captain Sidney Crosby said. "That's normal when you lose, and there's always people looking for reasons. But if we win [Game 7 against New York] we don't have to answer these questions. But that's the difference between winning and losing."
Crosby would not speak on if he thought a coaching change is necessary.
"I think that's for other people to decide," he said. "When you don't meet the expectations … I think you understand as an athlete and as being part of this team that the expectations are high, and if you don't deliver you have to own up to that as players and as an organization. So I think we all understand that.
"It's part of the way it works and we'll see what happens from here."
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
In the five full seasons Bylsma has been at the helm for the Penguins since winning the 2009 Stanley Cup, he has forged this team's identity into his own. That has resulted in five mostly marvelous regular seasons and five unsatisfying postseasons.
From a tactical standpoint, several portions of the system the team played overwhelmed or confused current and former players, particularly on defense. Ben Lovejoy was a middling borderline NHL defensemen with the Penguins. After being traded to the Ducks early in the 2012-13 season, he became a top-four defenseman for head coach Bruce Boudreau who by his own admission, likes "to keep things simple."
The Penguins' unyielding adherence to their system allowed for any flexibility for the unique skillsets of players. As a result, marvelously talented players such Simon Despres and Beau Bennett have either languished in roles below their abilities at the NHL level or been marooned in the AHL while trust and ice time has been entrusted to players with limited abilities such as Deryk Engelland and Chris Conner.
While Bennett and Despres are hardly without blame for their stagnant development, no one can fairly say they were put in a position to succeed.
Beyond the X's and O's, the adage that "every coach is hired to be fired" appears to have finally come true for Bylsma.
continue for the a in-depth look at the current state of the Penguins...
from Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Of the 20 Penguins who participated in Game 7 against the New York Rangers, eight are 30 or older. Two other 30-somethings, defenseman Brooks Orpik and right wing Pascal Dupuis, likely would have been in the lineup had they been healthy.
Once the league's fresh-faced team, the Penguins should be searching for youthful legs this summer.
But getting younger in free agency isn't realistic, and the Penguins' system isn't blessed with an impact forward at the AHL level, though many young defensemen could be ready.
And while the Penguins' stars are still young, they aren't kids anymore.
This summer, Sidney Crosby turns 27 and Evgeni Malkin turns 28.
Mario Lemieux never won a Stanley Cup past 26. Wayne Gretzky won his last championship at 27. Hockey is a young man's game, and while the Penguins' stars aren't old by any stretch, their championship window isn't as wide as it once was.
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Ownership favored firing Bylsma as of Wednesday, the sources said.
Ownership believed Bylsma lost the dressing room this season, specifically the support of franchise centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the sources said.
Players were unhappy with Bylsma's numerous meetings and long practices and the decreasing sense of fun within the Penguins' daily environment, the sources said.
Crosby and Malkin also grew disenchanted with perceived harsh criticism they received from Bylsma during meetings, the sources said.
Also, the sources said, ownership was concerned about the Crosby's body language during the playoffs.
I am sure we will be finding out the answers in the coming days but for now we can watch Sidney Crosby's reaction to the game last night.
from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
- The Consol crowd takes its knocks, some deserved, some not, but the place was fantastic for this one, and let no one tell you otherwise. Sad to say, but they wound up more invested in these playoffs than the participants.
- That said, the scene at the end spoke volumes about the dissatisfaction with the franchise right now. Boos were loud right at the final horn. A couple of objects made it to the ice. But then, in what was most striking, all through the handshake line, the boos built up, then topped out as the Penguins left the ice. In other words, people stayed to boo.
- The Penguins gave up 15 total goals in a seven-game series and lost. If you think this was about Marc-Andre Fleury, you’re chirping an old narrative.
- We’ve almost surely seen the last game in a Pittsburgh sweater from Brooks Orpik, the franchise’s all-time most tenured defenseman. What a first-round pick, what a force, what an outstanding person.
more including links to more stories on the Penguins...
First up, the Chicago Blackhawks post-game in the dressing room...
Below, three more videos...
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