Bylsma free to pursue any coaching gig, says Rutherford

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Teams wanting to interview Dan Bylsma for their head coaching position will no longer need to ask permission.

Bylsma, who’s been out of work since getting fired by Pittsburgh last season, is free to pursue any other job across the NHL, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said on Thursday.

More, from the Associated Press:

Rutherford made his comment Thursday in response to a question as to whether Sabres have asked him permission to interview Bylsma for their vacancy. Though Bylsma was fired last June, he remains on the Penguins’ payroll because his contract runs through the end of next season.

San Jose, New Jersey and Detroit also have openings.

Both the Sabres and Sharks have reportedly asked permission to speak with Bylsma. Many assume the Devils will eventually check in on Bylsma, given the strong connection at play; New Jersey’s new GM is Ray Shero, Bylsma’s former boss with the Penguins (the two won the Stanley Cup together in 2009.)

As for Rutherford, his first move upon being hired as Penguins GM was to dismiss Bylsma, so this latest move doesn’t come as a huge surprise.