Dan Bylsma fired by Pittsburgh Penguins

Justin K. Aller

Dan Bylsma has been let go by the Penguins and Jim Rutherford, who was hired as their general manager on Friday.

In May when the Penguins fired general manager Ray Shero, it was widely reported that they were planning on firing head coach Dan Bylsma as well. As it turned out, Bylsma was spared that day, and it seemed like the Penguins were waiting to see the opinion of their new general manager with regard to Bylsma's future.

Now we know. The Penguins hired Jim Rutherford as their new general manager Friday, and they've quickly made the decision to fire Dan Bylsma as their head coach.

"Dan is a good man and a good coach, but I thought we needed a change in direction moving forward," Rutherford said. "I have no doubt that he will go on to be a head coach in the National Hockey League and have success. The search for our new head coach will begin immediately."

Changes in Pittsburgh

The part that will likely rub a lot of Penguins fans the wrong way is that for 21 days, the Penguins let Bylsma sit and wiggle with regard to his future with the team. That's a valuable stretch of time that Bylsma could've been looking at other jobs, and now it leaves just three head coaching jobs available to him for next season: the Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks and Rutherford's old club, the Carolina Hurricanes.

It's unknown at this point what Rutherford and the Penguins will do with their coaching decision, but that's the other side of it as well: Barry Trotz took the Washington job in these last 21 days, and could have been a candidate for the Pens job. We'll never know.

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