Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero addressed the media for his end-of-season press conference on Wednesday morning. Since the team had been eliminated in the Eastern Conference Final courtesy of a Boston Bruins sweep, many had speculated that head coach Dan Bylsma could be fired.
In a surprising twist, Shero silenced those rumors by announcing Bylsma had agreed to a two-year contract extension that will run through the 2015-16 season. Considering the amount of success Bylsma has had as head coach, his continued employment with the club isn't shocking. The emergence of an extension this quickly after the end of their season is.
In addition to Bylsma, the other members of his staff, Tony Granato and Todd Reirden, were also given extensions.
Shero stated the decision to extend the coaching staff was because he believed in their ability to help the club continue to compete -- and ultimately win -- another Stanley Cup. Expressing his belief that a stable coaching situation leads to consistent success, Shero remained firm in his confidence in Bylsma.
The manager also expressed unwavering support of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Following a disastrous showing this postseason, speculation picked up about the potential of Fleury receiving a compliance buyout or being traded. Much like he did with Bylsma, Shero firmly closed the door on those options when he stated that he was not getting rid of Fleury.
However, he did express that changes were coming to the roster. With the salary cap dropping next season, Shero stated that his goal -- as is the case with every season -- is to ice a team that is talented enough to compete for a championship and is salary cap compliant. With several players scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency come July, Shero will have some difficult decisions in the coming weeks.