The most newsworthy item from FSG Executive Dave Beeston in Friday’s press conference on the firings of Ron Hextall and Brian Burke was Beeston saying Mike Sullivan’s future would be up to the next hockey operations leader.

“We think Mike Sullivan is one of the best coaches in the NHL. He was extended [last season]. Once we bring in a new hockey operations leader, he or she will be responsible for evaluating the coaching staff. We think Mike is terrific and we think his whole staff is terrific,” Beeston said.

Beeston’s comments were more about what he had to say at that moment. You can’t come out and say no matter who takes over, he or she is going to have no input on the head coach. The reality of the situation, though, is any serious candidate will come into this process knowing that retaining the head coach is going to be part of the job.

More fodder to this is the Penguins wide net list of at least 15 candidates will include a few with former ties to Sullivan.

Among them is a controversial one To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!