Report: Bylsma will interview with Panthers this week

Jun 9, 3:00 PM

The Florida Panthers reportedly wasted no time reaching out to Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma after he was let go by new Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford last week. It seems they've wasted no time getting him in the door for an interview, according to a report from the Sun Sentinel's Harvey Fialkov:

Regardless of whether or not he's Florida bound ultimately, Byslma won't be out of work for long. In fact, he's already landed a new gig, and will be appearing as a studio analyst during the NHL Network's broadcast of Game 3. 

Jun 10, 10:05 AM

Friedman: Possible Bylsma waits to see how everything goes next year before taking a job

Jun 10, 10:05 AM

After twisting in the wind for three weeks, former Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma was fired last week. The moment he became available, he became the hottest name on the NHL head coaching market.

The U.S. Olympic coach and 2009 Stanley Cup winner was promptly contacted by Dale Tallon and the Florida Panthers, and is reportedly set to interview this week for the head coaching vacancy in Broward County. He was also described as "interesting" by Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning, although he doesn't appear to be a leading candidate for the Canucks job. 

So Bylsma has been tied to two of the three available NHL head coaching jobs in the week since he was let go by the Penguins, but just generating interest and actually landing a job are very different things. Or to frame it another way: Bylsma's candidacy is burning brightly at the moment, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he'll strike an agreement with a club while that fire is hot.

CBC's Elliotte Friedman, in an appearance on "The Scott Rintoul Show" on Monday night, suggested that Bylsma may decide not to take a new job this summer at all:

I'm sure the Canucks will contact him, I think just about every team has, and I know [he'll interview] in Florida. 

I'm not so sure Carolina is going to interview him, I've heard mixed [signals] about whether or not they're interested, but I'm sure there will be contact. I've heard it's not necessarily something he wants. 

I think it's very possible [that] he waits and sees how maybe everything goes next year before he takes a job. Everybody who was looking for a coach knew he was probably going to be available, and I'm not sure it changed a lot when he finally was.

Bylsma was signed to a two-year contract extension in June of 2013, and his contract with the Penguins runs through the 2015-16 season. If he doesn't take another job, then he'll still be getting paid, so it would make sense that he could afford to be selective. 

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Debby Wong

Jun 9, 12:13 PM

Fired Penguins coach Bylsma to join NHL Network as Stanley Cup Final analyst

Jun 9, 12:13 PM

As it turns out, Dan Bylsma's first job in hockey after being fired by the Pittsburgh Penguins last week isn't with the Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes or the Vancouver Canucks. 

The former Penguins and U.S. Olympic bench boss will spend the next week to ten days working in front of a camera, rather than behind a bench. 

From the NHL Network, per Pro Hockey Talk:

Bylsma will join NHL Network as a studio analyst for Game 3 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. NHL Network will broadcast live from New York at Chase Plaza outside Madison Square Garden, with extensive coverage of the Final.

Bylsma will join NHL Network’s team of hosts, analysts, and reporters on the ground in New York, including Kathryn Tappen, Steve Mears, EJ Hradek, Kevin Weekes, Mike Johnson, Marty Biron, Billy Jaffe, Barry Melrose, Jamal Mayers and Dave Strader.

So Bylsma was indeed out of work for less than a week, just as everyone in the hockey world expected. 

Jun 7, 10:03 AM

Report: Panthers reach out to Bylsma, Canucks GM describes him as 'interesting'

Jun 7, 10:03 AM

After being left to twist in the breeze for three weeks by a team that was always going to give him the pink slip, recently fired Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma is on the open market. 

The young and highly-regarded Stanley Cup winning coach is now officially the biggest name among the available NHL head coaches, and with three head coaching vacancies - with the Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Vancouver Canucks - Bylsma will be out of a job for only as long as he'd like to be.

To wit, Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has already begun to woo the 2011 Jack Adams winner according to Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel:

The Panthers wasted little time in reaching out to ex-Penguins coach Dan Bylsma as part of their ongoing coaching search after newly hired Pittsburgh General Manager Jim Rutherford fired the 2011 Coach of the Year Friday morning.

No definitive plans for an interview with Bylsma have been made, however, Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon called him shortly after he was let go to touch base, according to a team source.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the continent, Canucks general manager Jim Benning described Bylsma as "interesting" in an interview with the Vancouver Sun's Iain MacIntyre on Friday. "We’ve been in meetings all day, so we haven’t had a chance to really sit down and talk about it," Benning told the Sun of Bylsma's potential candidacy in Vancouver. "He’s an interesting name, for sure."

While the Panthers seem hot for Bylsma, the sense in Vancouver - despite Benning's comments - is that the former Penguins bench boss doesn't change the equation significantly for the Canucks' ongoing head coaching search. 

"These guys have kind of had their hearts aflutter for [Texas Stars head coach Willie] Desjardins number 1, and [Los Angeles Kings assistant] John Stevens number 2," explained Vancouver Province beat writer Jason Botchford on the Scott Rintoul show late Friday night. "[Marc Crawford] has interviewed once, may interview again, he's one of the dark horses; but ... this is a two horse race, and I don't believe that Bylsma is going to upset the apple cart here."

Botchford went on to add that Bylsma "may want to stay out east" and that, if Bylsma is reluctant to move West, "that might be part of the reason, from the people I'm talking to, that he doesn't change the landscape."

Feature photo courtesy of REUTERS/Brian Snyder