Tag: Dan Bylsma

Toronto Maple Leafs v Nashville Predators

Report: Phil Housley the lead candidate for Devils’ coaching vacancy


Phil Housley could be the next head coach of the New Jersey Devils.

According to Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger, Housley, who is currently an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators, has emerged as the front-runner for the coaching vacancy in New Jersey.

Chere reports GM Ray Shero has also interviewed former Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher, Washington Capitals assistant coach Todd Reirden and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coach John Hynes.

The Devils reportedly interviewed Dan Bylsma before he took the Buffalo Sabres job.

During his playing days Housley spent part of the 1995-96 season with the Devils.

The 51-year-old’s coaching experience includes a gold medal while behind the bench of Team USA at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championship.

Report: Bylsma to meet with Sabres this week

Dan Bylsma

On Thursday GM Jim Rutherford opened the door for teams to interview former Pens’ head coach Dan Bylsma without seeking permission.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Bylsma will meet with the Buffalo Sabres this week.

Bylsma, 44, has not coached since being fired by Pittsburgh last June.

The 2011 Jack Adams Award winner was behind the Penguins’ bench for six seasons posting a 252-117-32 record winning a Stanley Cup in 2009.

As Friedman notes, Bylsma could appeal to the Sabres because he already has a connection with Jack Eichel, who is likely headed to Buffalo. The two were together with Team USA at the 2015 World Championship in the Czech Republic.

Rutherford has given Buffalo and San Jose to speak with Bylsma.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports New Jersey GM Ray Shero has also gotten permission to speak with Bylsma and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coach John Hynes about the Devils coaching vacancy.

Rutherford has not gotten to the point of seeking compensation.

“We haven’t gotten to that point,” said Rutherford. “That [right to seek compensation] rule kind of works against itself. On one hand, you’re paying an employee who’s not working, so teams prefer to get their salaries moved on [to another club]. But at the same time, we have a rule that, in some cases, there could be compensation.”

The Pens did not get compensation when the Devils hired Shero and Rutherford admitted they may go the same route with Bylsma in an effort to get a deal done.

“We don’t want to jeopardize what [Shero and Bylsma] could do going forward,” Rutherford said. “We’ll just wait to see who Dan possibly could get hired by, and make that decision at the time.”

The Sabres fired head coach Ted Nolan on April 12 after he led Buffalo to a 40-87-17 record in parts of two seasons. Nolan has since interviewed with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League regarding their coaching vacancy.

Report: Sharks want a second interview with DeBoer

Head coach Peter DeBoer works the bench against the New York Islanders during a preseason game at the Barclays Center on September 21, 2013 in Brooklyn borough of New York City.The game is the first professional hockey match to be held in the arena that is slated to be the new home for the Islanders at the start of the 2015-2016 season.
(September 20, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

While the Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings appear front-runners in the Mike Babcock sweepstakes, the San Jose Sharks are interested in Pete DeBoer.

According to hockey insider Darren Dreger, the Sharks are hoping to give DeBoer a second interview.

The 46-year-old is also believed to be on the Edmonton Oilers radar.

DeBoer coached the New Jersey Devils to a 12-17-7 record before being fired in December. He is currently an assistant on former Sharks’ coach Todd McLellan’s staff with Team Canada at the World Hockey Championship.

Dreger reports that Dan Bylsma, Randy Carlyle and Dave Lowry are also in the mix for the San Jose vacancy.

Former Pens Niskanen and Orpik react to Bylsma’s firing

Dan Bylsma

Former Penguins’ defensemen Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, now with the Washington Capitals, recently spoke to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about the summer firing of Dan Bylsma and his staff.

“The organization can say whatever it wants, that it wasn’t sure what it wanted to do, all that stuff,” said Niskanen. “But it was (bull).

“It’s not like Dan was a chump or something, but that’s how he was treated. He won you guys a Cup, you know?”

The Penguins fired general manager Ray Shero in May, but waited until current GM Jim Rutherford was hired in June before firing Bylsma and his staff.

Niskanen spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins registering 85 points in 214 games.

The 28-year-old joined the Capitals via free agency in the summer signing a seven-year, $40.25 million contract.

Niskanen and Orpik, who signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract with Washington, return to Pittsburgh on Dec. 27.

“I definitely have an opinion on it,” Orpik said. “But I don’t think it does any good to share that right now. At the end of the day, it’s people running a business. That’s what you always hear. It’s a cut-throat business. I don’t think anything surprises me anymore.”

Orpik broke into the league with the Penguins and spent parts of 11 seasons with Pittsburgh registering 132 points in 703 games.

Both players told reporter Josh Yohe, they were treated well, but had issues with the way the coaching staff was handled.

“I was always treated really well when I was there,” Niskanen said. “But, you know, I have a real problem with how those guys were treated. A lot of guys on the team were very upset by how everything happened.”

Calmer Crosby enjoying early season success

Sidney Crosby

Bill Guerin still shows up to the rink in a suit on game days; however, when the puck drops he’s high above the ice watching from a suite as the Pittsburgh Penguins assistant general manager.

The view gives him a new found appreciation for the game’s biggest star, Sidney Crosby.

Guerin was a teammate of Crosby’s for parts of two seasons (2009-10) capturing his second Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009.

“Night-in, night-out you get spoiled watching him,  said Guerin. “One of the best things is watching him in practice, watching his work ethic, watching what he can do with the puck when it’s practice, when you’re working on things and you’re trying different things.

“That’s when you get a real appreciation for what he does.”

Originally the fifth overall pick at the 1989 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils, Guerin appeared in 1,263 games with the Devils, Oilers, Bruins, Stars, Blues, Sharks, Islanders and Penguins scoring 429 goals and 856 points.

Guerin first played with Crosby six years ago, with a then 21-year-old ‘Sid the Kid’.

According to Guerin, the biggest improvement he’s seen in the now 27-year-old Crosby has nothing to do with his on-ice skills.

“I think he controls his emotions a lot more,” said Guerin. “I think he’s really brought a calming affect to the room.”

Crosby admits he’s learned to pick his spots better and approaches the game with a calmer demeanour.

“Hopefully with more experience you learn that it’s a little bit better to stay even keel,” Crosby said following his second three-point performance of the season Saturday. “I don’t think you want to take the emotion out of the game. I feel that passion and energy is something that I need to play with.

“But I think just knowing when to maybe turn it down is important so hopefully that’s something that gets better as you get older.”

Added former linemante Pascal Dupuis, “He matured as a hockey player, matured as a person and it shows on the ice.”

With three goals and six points through the first two games of the season, Crosby is off to his best start since the 2011-12 season when he had seven points in the first three games of the season.

He appears further motivated by how the 2013-14 season ended – a loss to the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Easter Conference semifinals.

In the offseason the Penguins cleared out the front office firing GM Ray Shero and head coach Dan Bylsma.

“You come in with the mentality that you want to start quick, get some momentum, get some confidence,” said Crosby. “Had a long summer, had a lot of time to think about last year, we’re all pretty excited to get started. I think everybody’s excited to get started, but it’s nice to see it translate into a couple wins.”

He’s also learning to play with a new linemate in offseason acquisition, Patric Hornqvist.

“It’s really fun; he competes hard, goes to the net hard. He’s got a great shot,” said Crosby. “I think between the three of us we try to dig lose pucks out, go to the net and generate chances.”

The line, which includes Chris Kunitz, has combined for six goals and 12 points through the Penguins first two games of the season.

They’ll have plenty of time to grow as a line this week as Pittsburgh doesn’t play until Thursday when they host the Dallas Stars.