Penguins GM Ray Shero announced today that head coach Dan Bylsma has received a two year extension and that assistants Todd Reirden and Tony Granato will also be retained. Bylsma’s extension makes him one of the NHL highest paid coaches, a league source says.
“I’m very pleased to announce the extension for Dan Bylsma,” GM Ray Shero said.
Bylsma and Shero both spoke of the importance of getting an extension done.
“I think the confidence of Ray Shero, Ron Burkle, Mario Lemieux that I am the coach of this team now and going forward with this extension and coaching staff was very big for us in giving that confidence,” head coach Dan Bylsma said of receiving the two year extension.
Shero strongly cited the belief in that Bylsma will continue to get better as a coach and learn from the Penguins third round loss to the Boston Bruins.
Shero said ownership was 100% supportive. “From Mario and Ron Burkle’s standpoint, they were 100% supportive,” Shero said of ownership.
“It’s important to me,” Shero said of the extension. “Making statement that I believe in Dan Bylsma. I have a very good coach that I want to continue to work with. Belief In information I have, it makes it easier to extend Dan Bylsma,” Shero said.
Shero felt the Penguins coaching staff made positive adjustments this season citing changes to the way the Penguins played defensively and systematic changes to the penalty kill that paid off in the playoffs. Shero feels positive adjustments will continue next season.
“In terms of growth and development on where I can get better as a coach, that process has been on-going for a long time and continues to happen,” Bylsma said of getting better as a coach.”
Shero spoke for nearly 60 minutes in a very informative media session. Here some Key Highlights:
*Shero on his hockey club: “I believe we have a really good hockey team, special group of guys…..As you know this team is going to change. Goal again is a team that can entertain the fans and compete for a Cup.”
*Shero cited the Detroit Red Wings as the type of model the Penguins look to follow in that they have stability in the coaching staff and management, and are always a team that is making the playoffs.
*In regards to losing to lower seeds, Shero said every team has a shot at the Stanley Cup and that it’s an “even league”
*Shero like Bylsma came out in strong support of goaltender Marc Andre Fleury today. “I’m not getting rid of Marc Andre Fleury,” Shero said. “Difficult to replace 40 wins. The faith I have in Marc Andre Fleury hasn’t waned.”
In looking at Bylsma and Fleury, Shero really seems to be putting a lot of stock in the regular season success the two have had.
Unlike Bylsma though, Shero actually came out and praised the work of Vokoun this season…… Bylsma was asked again about Fleury. “In terms of MArc Andre Fleury, the number of games he’s won, what he’s done in net, what he’s done in the regular season, no question he’s going to go into net and win hockey games for this team.”
*Shero on Malkin and Letang: “They’re under contract for one more year. They’re not going anywhere.”
*Shero raved about Jarome Iginla and keep that in mind were the Penguins unable to get a deal done with Pascal Dupuis in the coming weeks. “For Jarome, almost a point per game player. Don’t want to lose sight of that,” Shero said. “It was a privelege to get to know this player and person. I thought he was great.”
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