DESJARDINS EN ROUTE TO PITTSBURGH
(UPDATED 7:02 P.M.)
After committing to meet with the Penguins tonight, Texas Stars AHL coach Willie Desjardins has emerged as the Penguins top choice, Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned.
Desjardins will have his first face to face meeting with Penguins officials tonight in Pittsburgh as the team is closing in on a new coach.
The Penguins officially requested permission to talk to Desjardins on Wednesday morning but Desjardins did not commit to interview with the Penguins until Thursday morning. Late Wednesday night Penguins GM Jim Rutherford was prepared to move on with the search without Desjardins, who sources say has had some concerns with the job.
The Penguins will attempt to resolve those concerns, among them believed to be contract term and assistant coaches.
As the Penguins have closed in on Desjardins, however, the two sides have yet to enter into contract negotiations, an NHL source said. It is expected those talks will take place on Friday morning. Some close to the situation wonder if Pittsburgh’s preference of a short-term deal, could lead to a snag but guess here is they end up going three guaranteed years.
Meanwhile, Detroit Assistant coach Bill Peters who interviewed in person on Tuesday with the Penguins, was hired by the Carolina Hurricanes this afternoon.
Notable candidates who interviewed for the Penguins job include Ron Wilson, Ulf Samuelsson, Tom Renney, Marc Crawford, and John Hynes.