Multiple sources say this morning that GM Jim Rutherford knows who he wants to hire and the Penguins could have a coach in place as early as Friday. Candidates no longer in the mix are expected to be contacted this morning.
Here’s a roundup of the latest developments:
- Information has been all over the map on Texas Stars coach Willie Desjardins in the last 24 hours. The Penguins officially requested permission Wednesday morning to talk to Desjardins and it was anticipated he would be the 8th and final candidate to officially interview. That was not the case as word began to leak out late last night that he had yet to interview, though, it might be premature to rule him out just yet as Darren Dreger reported this morning that some believe Desjardins could have a choice between head coaching jobs in Pittsburgh and Vancouver. Desjardins is the top choice of the Canucks who are likely prepared to offer more long-term security, if Desjardins is indeed a top candidate in Pittsburgh and information is sketchy on that right now. Pittsburgh prefers to hire a coach to a two year deal with a team option for a third year.
- Ulf Samuelsson who interviewed with the Penguins this week, is meeting with the Carolina Hurricanes brass today in person. He’s a leading candidate there.
- The thinking is the Penguins may be learning towards an inexperienced coach.
- Lots of talk that Ron Wilson interviewed very well as he did with the Florida Panthers. The Penguins are fond of his uptempo pace, though, Wilson does not have a history of being a strong puck possession coach.
- I’m hearing Marc Crawford sold himself very well on how he has a history of dealing with star players, egos but I heard there was some pause on him from a few in the decision making process.
- Some wonder if the Penguins obsession with the Detroit Red Wings and wanting to play like them makes Bill Peters and Tom Renney stronger candidates than first believed. Lots of chatter on Peters
- A source says the Penguins spoke with Kevin Dineen.