Memorial Day weekend may prove the last stretch of quiet before an onslaught of chatter surrounding the Penguins’ general manager search.
CEO David Morehouse held conversations with several potential candidates last week, but talks are expected to progress toward formal interviews this week.
Morehouse is said to have spoken with the following people:
- PAT BRISSON – one of the NHL’s most powerful agents, including the representative for Penguins captain Sidney Crosby
- JASON BOTTERILL – the Penguins’ interim GM and the assistant GM under Ray Shero for the last five seasons
- JULIEN BRISEBOIS – Tampa Bay’s assistant GM
- DAVE POULIN – Toronto’s vice president of hockey operations
Morehouse is also said to have spoken with his NHL contacts about – and possibly directly with – the following potential candidates:
- NORM MACIVER – Chicago’s assistant GM
- RICK DUDLEY – Montreal’s assistant GM
- JEF GORTON – New York Rangers’ assistant GM
- DON SWEENEY – Boston’s assistant general manager
- PAUL FENTON – Nashville’s assistant general manager
- GEORGE MCPHEE – Washington’s former GM
Shero was fired May 16. Morehouse said then he would not comment publicly during the process to find a replacement.
As of the middle of last week, the Penguins were said to target having a new general manager within two weeks. They want to provide the new general manager time to make a decision on head coach Dan Bylsma before the NHL Enty Draft on June 27-28. Bylsma has two years remaining on his contract, and Penguins ownership is said to be growing comfortable with the potential for him to return for next season.
Morehouse said the new general manager would determine the statuses of Bylsma, his assistants and all members of the hockey operations department.
Morehouse is spearheading the general manager search, though majority co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burke have relied on their trusted league colleagues regarding potential candidates. That group is said to have included Montreal GM Marc Bergevin, Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment CEO Tim Leiweke, Tampa Bay owner Jeff Vinik, and Brisson.
Penguins ownership is said to prefer the new general manager to have a successful background in scouting and development, believing the franchise needs to improve most in those areas.
Thanks to all who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States of America; be EXCELLENT to each other,