Former Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has not been in demand on the coaching front and despite having a Stanley Cup on his resume and a career .668 winning percentage, Bylsma has been no one’s Plan A.
Bylsma has interviewed with just one team so far, the San Jose Sharks, a job he strongly covets, though, the Sharks are said to likely be going in another direction with talk around the league centering around Pete DeBoer due to Larry Robinson’s influence on the Sharks next coaching hire.
Bylsma was not on the Oilers radar who hired Todd McLellan nor the Flyers who hired Dave Hakstol or the Toronto Maple Leafs who were prepared to hire Guy Boucher this week until Mike Babcock decided to join the Leafs yesterday.
Even in New Jersey there’s talk that Ray Shero who has made just one NHL head coach hire in his career as General Manager, that being Dan Bylsma in 2009 after inheriting Michel Therrien, could be looking to go in another direction, though it will be surprising if Bylsma doesn’t at least get a courtesy interview for the job.
In Boston, many expect the Bruins to continue their trend of hiring their buddies with Cam Neely now really in charge and it won’t surprise anyone if controversial NBC analyst Mike Milbury ends up back coaching the Bruins.
Detroit is expect to go in-house.
What about Buffalo, could Bylsma be their Plan B?
The Sabres have been granted permission to interview Bylsma, according to Craig Custance of ESPN.
The sense around the Sabres has been that if they struck out on Mike Babcock, Luke Richardson would be the likely fall back option but Bylsma looks likely to get a strong look as the Sabres Plan B. Bylsma was in the Ducks organization when Tim Murray was there and Bylsma has connections to some in the Sabres organization who were previously in Pittsburgh.
Worth monitoring for now and if the Sabres were to hire Bylsma, the Penguins would have the option of receiving a third round pick. They opted against it when the Devils hired Ray Shero. The Penguins don’t own a third round pick in this years draft.