The Penguins coaching search is officially underway as at least one in-person interview will be conducted this afternoon. The Penguins internally have a list of 10 candidates they have discussed but the plan right now is to only interview 5-6 candidates at the top of their shortlist.
First up to interview today is AHL coach John Hynes who will meet with GM Jim Rutherford and other team officials. Hynes has strong support from those in the organization, including Associate GM Jason Botterill, sources say.
While just speculation at this point, one feeling around the league seems to be that Rutherford will lean towards an experienced coach with Hynes being promoted to associate head coach and potentially be looked at as the coach in waiting.
The Penguins prefer to hire a coach on a two year deal, sources say.
One of the top candidates, if not the top coaching candidate may not interview for any jobs this summer. A league source said this morning (around 9:00 a.m.) that Kings assistant coach John Stevens does not have an interview scheduled with the Penguins at this time or any other clubs.
If Stevens gets assurances, clause in contract, that he is the coach in waiting for Daryl Sutter who doesn’t plan to coach too much longer, Stevens has all intentions of staying put, the source says.