Penguins GM Rutherford: coaching search hits roadblock, 'to resume next week'
Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford appears to be going back to the drawing board in his search for a new head coach, telling Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review, "The guy I had is going to go in a different direction.”
This development comes hours after Rutherford said the search was coming to an end after he had narrowed the list down to one candidate.
It also presumably matches up with reports out of Vancouver that Texas Stars' coach and recent Calder Cup champion Willie Desjardins is expected to accept the Canucks' head coaching position.
Team and league sources said Rutherford spent Thursday night and Friday morning meeting with Willie Desjardins, a minor-league coach with only two years of experience as an NHL assistant. Topics discussed included assistant coaches, contract length and Desjardin's possible salary, the sources said.
Team 1040 host and ex-Globe and Mail sports writer Matt Sekeres reported that a major reason for Desjardins declining to take the Penguins job was a lack of term on their offer (just two-years). Apparently Desjardins was also told that he wouldn't have the authority to choose his assistant coaches.
“We couldn't make it work,” Rutherford said, adding he will start another coaching search next week. "I'm going to take the weekend to sort some things out. I'll work off the same list I had, but it will be expanded by two or three names that for whatever reason weren't considered for interviews the last time.”
Once again, that list is believed to include former NHL coaches Marc Crawford and Ron Wilson, NHL assistant Ulf Samuelsson, and AHL coach John Hynes.