Believing the Penguins had a “GM issue” much more so than a coach issue, has co-owner Ron Burkle saved Dan Bylsma’s job for now?
It certainly appears to be where things are trending as sources say Burkle remains in Bylsma’s corner. One consistent thing I’ve heard over the last day in a half about the Penguins bizarre decision to keep Bylsma for now is that Shero didn’t have the right personnel around Bylsma and that one prominent member of the Penguins brass (believed to be Burkle?) believes Bylsma can still succeed with the right personnel.
Sources say that’s what led to the Penguins reconsideration late Thursday night of keeping Bylsma for now and letting a new GM decide, though, ownership is going to have a lot of say I believe.
Burkle explains in his interview with the Post-Gazette’s Gene Collier that you start from the top (Shero) when you’re having issues in business. Here’s Burkle laying it all out there of how he feels the Penguins had a GM issue more so than a coach issue.
“I think if people thought we were going to let Dan go and this was just a way to somehow prolong it, well that doesn’t make any sense, so I’m not quite sure why anybody would think that,” Burkle said.
“I also think that it’s too easy to blame it on the coach and throw the coach out and have the GM stay, it’s more complicated than that. As Mario said, Dan’s done a lot of great things here and he’s been a good coach.”When we try to evaluate why we haven’t been more success in playoffs, obviously the coach comes into the picture, but if you listened to what we said about what kind of team we want to have – and we don’t have what kind of team we want to have today – then that comes back to more of a GM issue,” Burkle said.
“If you look around the league, there are some great organizations. Look at Detroit. They don’t win the Cup every year but (Mike) Babcock is still the coach. If you have a great coach, you’re not going to win every year but certainly the expectation is still there for Detroit and a team like us,” Lemieux said.
The theory that the Penguins are holding onto Bylsma to block him from other jobs is insane. Ron Burkle has a ton of money but businessmen like him don’t like to throw money away if they don’t have to. If ownership didn’t have any interest in keeping Bylsma, then the best way to get the $5 million he is owed over the next two years off the Penguins books would be to cut him loose immediately to give him a better chance to land elsewhere.
The Penguins are not real high on the list of potential candidates out there right now. As hard as it is to imagine Bylsma returning next season, it still wouldn’t be a shock to see this scenario play out;
Penguins roll the dice with Bylsma for one more year with a tougher team with more grit, speed, in what would be a Stanley Cup or bust situation to keep his job, but retaining Bylsma would also leave open the possibility next summer of getting their dream candidate Mike Babcock, if he becomes available, assuming the Penguins don’t win the Cup.
Any new coach that the Penguins might not be 100% sold on this summer would seek a three year contract.