Lemieux says Bylsma could ‘absolutely’ coach Penguins next year

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The Pittsburgh Penguins fired general manager Ray Shero today. But in a bit of a surprise move, they didn’t fire head coach Dan Bylsma, instead choosing to leave the coaching decision to the new GM.

Could Bylsma really be back behind the Pens’ bench next season?

“Absolutely, that’s why we didn’t fire him,” co-owner Mario Lemieux told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s a good coach. Look at his record at his record in the regular season, in the playoffs. If he was fired today, there’d be a lot of teams lined up to get him.”

All sorts of theories have been floated trying to explain why the Pens decided, for now at least, to keep Bylsma. Here’s one of them, from the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle:

Lemieux went on to say he feels the Penguins’ roster lacked character this year, before adding a rather candid assessment of captain Sidney Crosby: “I think Sid’s been disappointed in his play for sure and we certainly feel the same way. He’s had a long year, especially with the Olympics. He would certainly be the first one to say that he didn’t play up to his expectations.”