Latest Penguins Buzz

Insider Only Latest Pens Buzz: On Priority of having coach in place; Chatter on BriseBois, Boucher, McGuire, Stevens

With the draft being an opportunity to reshape your roster, will having a head coach in place whether it’s retaining Dan Bylsma or going another route be a top priority for the Penguins new GM before the draft? That’s the million dollar question right now.
Although you would think that knowing the type of coach you’re going to have would be a top priority when it comes to shaping the personnel of your team, but for some GM’s, executives, it’s not. Teams in the past will wait until after the draft or even into July before naming a head coach.
Florida and Carolina are two teams right now in no rush to hire a head coach. Panthers GM Dale Taillon told reporters at the scouting combine that he may not have a coach in place until July.
The thinking process from these type of GM’s is usually that of a good coach adjusts to the type of personnel he has and the personnel won’t be fixated on the coaches system. The thinking in Pittsburgh under Ray Shero was a complete 360 where everything was dictated by Bylsma’s system as Bylsma had significant input on shaping the roster.
If the Penguins go in-house with Tom Fitzgerald or Jason Botterill, they have all the information they need on this Penguins coaching staff but an outsider does not.
“You need multiple weeks to do a proper evaluation,” an NHL source said of a new GM (from the outside) making a decision on the coaching staff..
However, time will not be on the new GM’s side.

— If the Penguins gave significant weight to recommendations from the select group of people around the league they’ve consulted with throughout the GM search, Tampa Bay’s Julien BriseBois would be the guy.
Pat Brisson who Penguins ownership has leaned very heavily on in the search, not only has recommended Julien BriseBois as GM to Penguins ownership but sources say Brisson is believed to be behind the Penguins gathering information on former Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Guy Boucher who is very interested in the job.
— The most intriguing thing I’ve heard when it comes to Pierre McGuire (if he got the job) is that he would strongly pursue Los Angeles Kings Assistant John Stevens to be Penguins head coach.
Sources believe McGuire’s biggest downfall when it comes to getting the job will end up being that he’s too close to Ray Shero. Shero use to always consult with McGuire on decisions and many feel that has to bug David Morehouse. The difference with Jason Botterill is that he and Shero were work friends. McGuire and Shero are BFF’s.
“It would be like re-hiring Ray,” a source joked of McGuire.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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