Rossi: With interviews soon, Pens’ GM targets emerging


Look for the Penguins’ general manager search to kick into another gear very soon, as ownership is expected to start conducting formal interviews – perhaps later this week.

As of Thursday there was no final list of candidates.

The Penguins are expected to formally interview interim general manager Jason Botterill and seek permission to interview Tampa Bay assistant general manager Julien BriseBois.

Botterill and BriseBois, both 37, are viewed as up-and-coming potential management stars. As noted here a few times already, Penguins ownership is high on Botterill and does not believe he is too close ideologically with Ray Shero, who hired him seven years ago. Also, ownership is tight with its Tampa Bay counterpart, which makes looking at BriseBois – especially given his reputation – an obvious option for the Penguins.

Some personnel with clubs currently still playing are also potential interview candidates for the Penguins:

*Jeff Gorton (New York Rangers assistant GM)

*Norm Maciver (Chicago assistant GM)

The Penguins could interview those candidates during the respective NHL conference final series, or wait until those wrap next week.

Toronto vice president of hockey operations Dave Poulin is also said to interest the Penguins. Poulin, 55, played 13 seasons in the NHL. He was brought to Toronto by former general manager Brian Burke, and has run the Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate for most of the last two seasons.


>> The Penguins are said to prefer having a new general manager in place within 2-3 weeks. That would give the new general manager time to make a decision on head coach Dan Bylsma and the assistants before the NHL Entry Draft, which is slated for June 27-28.

Nobody within the Penguins expects Bylsma to be retained, but that decision will be the new general manager’s to make.


>> The Penguins will know more about Olli Maatta’s status soon, but the summer is already off to a lousy start for him and the other Penguins’ top young defenseman:


Be EXCELLENT to each other,