Pittsburgh Penguins fire Ray Shero; coach Dan Bylsma spared, for now

Jamie Sabau

Ray Shero, the general manager of the Penguins, has been fired. Coach Dan Bylsma still has his job, despite earlier reports to the contrary.

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Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero has been fired, but head coach Dan Bylsma still has his job.

Team president David Morehouse made the announcement at a press conference on Friday morning, and the decision to retain Bylsma was a bit surprising considering earlier reports from both TSN and CBC that both men had been canned.

Jason Botterill takes over as interim general manager and ultimately, a new permanent GM will make the decision regarding the coaching staff. Morehouse said Botterill is in the running for that job.

The move came just three days after the Penguins fell out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 7 against the New York Rangers. The Penguins blew a 3-1 series lead against New York, and for the fifth season in a row fell out of the playoffs in unceremonious fashion despite one of the league's best regular season records.

Two of those most recent exits came as the usually-potent Penguins simply failed to score against strong defensive teams in the Rangers and Boston Bruins, while their 2012 playoff defeat fell largely at the feet of weak goaltending and defense in a wild series against Philadelphia in which the Penguins allowed 30 goals in six games.

Shero rightfully should be blamed for failing to surround star players Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin with depth players who could pick up the slack defensively, as our Adam Gretz wrote earlier this week.

Shero and Bylsma brought Pittsburgh its third Stanley Cup championship in 2009, when the Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings to win the title. Shero also helped build the Penguins into an Eastern Conference champion in 2008 before the Penguins fell to those same Red Wings in the Cup Final.

For more on the news, be sure to check in with Penguins blog Pensburgh.

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