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Quick take: Penguins hitting reset or panic button?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Now comes word that the Penguins are basically hitting the reset button on their coaching search, as reported by the Trib’s Rob Rossi.

Or maybe it’s really the panic button.

First, Bill Peters went to the Hurricanes, scratching one candidate.

Next, Willie Desjardins took off for the Canucks after Jim Rutherford thought that was his man. And what an embarrassment that is in and of itself, a minor-league guy who’s done nothing in the NHL at age 57 and who’d just taken a backward step in the Dallas organization flying to Pittsburgh to reject the Penguins. Yikes.

Somebody’s butchering this, and somebody’s butchering it badly.

Are the Penguins being cheap?

Are they afraid to commit longer than two years?

Are they — I can’t believe I’m about to type this — holding off for Mike Babcock, as if that wouldn’t be the dumbest route imaginable?

Then, of course, inevitably, everything goes public, and the next name the Penguins would announce — whoever that would have been — would look like a clear third choice. Which would embarrass both that individual and the team. Which wouldn’t help anyone.

My thoughts on this haven’t changed in the slightest: I want Ulf. There’s nothing that’s gone wrong to this point that the hiring of Ulf Samuelsson wouldn’t make right, and by that I’m not talking about saving face but of making the right choice to coach this team.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page and our Chipped Ice blog.

Thoughts on this, anyone else?

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

Comments

  1. Crash says:

    If they are holding out for Babcock make him an offer he can’t refuse NOW.

    This reeks of Morehouse, and Rutherford is his puppet.

  2. Poole says:

    DK,

    Do you feel this is a smokescreen of any type or are they just butchering this?

  3. If the Penguins are messing up in front office hirings, imagine when they start focusing on a winger… :/

  4. Brian says:

    So, is this a franchise people don’t want to work for anymore? How did we get to this point? If they’re holding out for Mike Babcock, who’s to say he would want to be part of this? It’s a circus right now.

  5. Joe G. says:

    Are they even interested in Ulf anymore? This is becoming much more of a concern than I thought it would be.

  6. Jeff Deburgh says:

    Hey DK,

    The Pens can’t be dumb enough to think they can hold out for Babcock next year, can they???

    I’ll check back shortly. No idea what I’m missing right now on twitter.

    Thanks

  7. Chad says:

    Do these guys not want this job or could the pens be low balling in cash or years?

  8. PC says:

    Honestly, Ulf is no worse than any of these other names being bandied about. Though I’ll take anyone not named Ron Wilson or Marc Crawford.

  9. Has it been confirmed that Desjardins is going to Vancouver? Maybe the fact that Rutherford isn’t planning to stay longer than a few years, along with the Pens’ treatment of Bylsma at the end, has overshadowed the opportunity to work with A+ talent. I hope this situation looks worse than it actually is.

  10. Epeecurean says:

    Does Rutherford really not think Ulf is the right choice for this team? Or, as has been suggested elsewhere, is Ulf deterred from being fully open to the job because his son is in the organization? Seems an unlikely ‘conflict of interest scenario to me..

  11. joey_pittsburgh says:

    The prospect of being hired by a GM already on his way out, having two world-class superstars, a handful of NHL players, and a cast of AHL-forwards while maintaining the expectation to at LEAST hit the Eastern Conference finals with no clear locker room leader…..man, who wouldn’t want this opportunity.

    Bungled since day 1 and they’re reaping what they’ve sowed. Expect a retread who couldn’t get hired elsewhere. If Ulf is smart, he’ll stay in NY.

  12. Swazi says:

    If theyre offering coaches two years they may as well have kept Dan. And they may as well have kept Dan if they wind up hiring Wilson or Crawford. This search reeks of David Moorehouse just messing things up further. If he and Rutherford thinks it is a good idea to just hire some garbage retread so they can hold out for the slim possibility for Babcock, they should both be fired on the spot and thrown out of the city of Pittsburgh.

    Just hire Ulf already and give him three years with a fourth option year. He is BY FAR the best candidate for the job at this point. BY FAR!

  13. philippe says:

    Hi DK,

    what about promoting Jacques Martin..if things turns out great then it’s perfect, if aint different than Byslma era, then Pens can still go after babcock in 2 years!
    thanks

  14. Scott says:

    you guys need to figure out how to link tweets back into the blog or column… but you asked nicely so…

    This has been a #goatscrewfromday1 Seriously. They needed to fire Disco the same day Shero went. Do you think letting Disco twist in the wind is helping getting another coach here?

    Aside from that, the candidates that they had at the top of the list were a joke, thank God it’s been a #goatscrewfromday1 and Peter and Willie went their separate ways.

  15. Poole says:

    The poor handling of Bylsma have anything to do with coaches going elsewhere?

  16. Jack Burton says:

    Why do you say to the media you’ve narrowed your search to one candidate before you’ve even spoken to the candidate regarding salary, term, etc? The penguins have butchered every situation since the season ended. They’ve embarrassed the franchise and the fans.

  17. Chad says:

    I think the tight-lipped Pens always have things up their sleeves that we don’t know… And i cant believe JR tells it how it is. “I didn’t get my guy?” why would you announce that?

  18. Ace McTasty says:

    The Pens can’t land the coaches they want because:

    a) league-wide perception they want Babcock next year
    b) candidates turned off by notion of having an assistant chosen for them
    c) team refusing to go beyond a 2-year deal
    d) somehow Cotton Eyed Joe is still played at every game
    e) all of the above

  19. Susan says:

    Other coaches see how they handled Bylsma’s firing (poorly at best), see a team that has a lot of holes, a couple of underperforming/immature superstars, and big expectations from management. Maybe the job doesn’t look so hot, after all.

  20. ryan says:

    This off season has been an utter shit show. It certainly doesn’t paint the organization in the best light.

    They take 3 weeks to hire a gm that is admittedly just a fill in, and now can’t hire either of their top choices for coach after leaving their previous coach hanging for those same 3 weeks. Its disappointing to watch this develope.

  21. Kurt Miller says:

    I have actual footage of the Penguins coaching search: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBBbrYpeqZY.

  22. David says:

    Ulf or John Hynes. Those would be my wishes, not necessarily in that order.

    Or, if the grand plan is Mike Babcock, then maybe they could promote one of the current assistants for a year. Jacques Martin, perhaps.

    But you’re absolutely right, DK…the rejection of the Penguins, current employers of two of the best players in the world, by the newly-minted champion coach of the AHL is utterly damning. Of what in particular, I have no clue.

  23. John says:

    Hey, Dejan…

    I wonder if the Penguins really did want Peters, but due to the crazy 5 GM management, and having to report to Morehouse; As well as the expectation level the Pens had for success in the playoffs (and short contract, and not being able to pick his assistant coaches) , drove him off.

    So they had to scramble for option 2, call Desjardins for an in person interview, and try to do damage control on missing Peters. Try to make it look like Willie was their option the whole time – when it obviously wasn’t. And expected to be able to hire him easily…

    Then when he too turned them down, it became a huge embarrassment for the Penguins, having to admit publicly that they got outscooped.

    But, I think the truth is, they got outscooped twice. first on Peters, and second on WD.

    Thoughts?

  24. Mark says:

    Any idea who the 2 or 3 additional names are that Rutherford referenced in Rossi article?

    My two cents – it MAY turn out OK, but right now? It looks bad.

  25. Clint says:

    You open up the field to more people at this point if the first 2 choices are out. Coach is important to this team, but just as important is Rutherford and the brian trust reworking this roster. Cant blame a guy like Desjardins for signing on when the previous coach never missed playoffs, and got run out of town with the GM. May have been a justfiable move, but you would know coming in job security not at a premium,

  26. Victor L says:

    DK,

    If the Pens are really interested in Mike Babcock, then they need to do whatever it takes to get him. No more messing around with 2nd rate candidates. If they decide they don’t want to pony up the assets (cash, picks, players) for Babcock, then they need to commit to a new coach for multiple years. Team needs to choose a direction and commit.

  27. Bill says:

    Maybe Ulf wasn’t interested.

  28. Dante Matthews says:

    I know you want Ulfie but the current trend on coaches is the guy who has been moderately successful at a few places but ultimately washed put i.e. Sutter, Quennville; Julien. So why not a guy like Ron Wilson.

  29. Arriba Wilver says:

    Maybe the idea of 4 or 5 guys (all “above” you) all angling to get the GM job in 2 or 3 years isn’t that appealing, so if they have an alternative they take it. Regardless how many years are being offered. Sure seems like a mess.

  30. If Babcock wanted to coach the Penguins, he could make that happen. This is really just a non-thing.

  31. I really hope they aren’t doing this because they want Babcock in the future. Of all people, sports administrators should know that the only thing that matters is the present.

  32. Pghgolfgirl says:

    Pens have egg on their face on how this whole coaching search has gone. First they hold on to Dan (and in doing so make him a sympathetic figure to the rest of the NHL), now they can’t seem to find anyone that want to coach a team with what is apparently a bad locker room and underachieving, spoiled superstars. I would love for Ulf to get the job but I don’t think GMJR is that forward thinking. (And if he did offer it to Ulf, at this point I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t want it). Gut tells me that either Crawford or Wilson will get the job and that would be the worse thing imaginable. I’m just shaking my head…

  33. It’s not a mirage. Let’s put it that way. This is a full-blown mess.

  34. Ryan says:

    DK, if the Pens really are waiting for Babcock, doesn’t that just emphasize the fact that the Pens are the most arrogant organization in the league? They think premier FA want to come here to play with 87/71. It hasn’t happened. Now they are getting shunned by AHL coaches who would rather take a job with a team rebuilding, like Vancouver. I agree with you that Ulf should be the guy, but if they are waiting for Babcock, why on this earth would they think he would want to come here when they can’t even lock down a guy looking for his first NHL head coaching gig?

  35. Jordan S says:

    Dejan,

    Not sure why you have WD tagged as such a poor choice. Going from NHL assistant to AHL Head Coach is not a demotion. He was also widely regarded as one of the best coaching prospects for the last few years.

    I think Ulf would do a great job, and I am pulling for him, but his resume is not at all stronger than WD. He did not have a good run as Head Coach in Sweden at all.

    Bill Peters isn’t the 2nd best coach in the Detroit system (that would be Blashill). He isn’t even the assistant coach that had the most responsibility (Renney).

    Until the Penguins actually MISS on the best candidate, I don’t get the negativity.

    Ulf and Desjardins are pretty equal in my books. Get one and its a win.

  36. Swazi says:

    DK,

    I know at this point we are ALL rooting for Ulf to get the job. But in reality, with how Rutherford hitting the reset button on the search, who do you honestly think is going to get the job?

    If they’re stupid enough to wait it out for Babcock next offseason, why wouldn’t they just hire Hynes? Enough of the time wasting and charades!

  37. Matt says:

    Any sense of in-fighting this early between the 4 GM’s? Regarding Ulf, is he afraid of the conflict it creates with his son in the organization. From an outsider’s perspective, he’s seems like an absolutely ideal fit.

  38. Mario Lopez says:

    All these years we thought #Pirates were the Dysfunctional Organization! Seems to me Mario & especially Burkle broke cardinal rule of BIZ don’t fire someone until you know WHO you want to replace them & that you can get that person. This whole situation w/ GM & Coach search reeks of no Plan A, B or C….

  39. Well, that’s not up there. But clearly, he wasn’t their first choice. Can’t imagine why. Really can’t.

  40. coba39 says:

    This is …. unsettling. And isn’t making pronouncements such as “We are close to making our head coach hire” before the deal is definitively done a classic rookie mistake? A mistake a veteran GM like Rutherford was hired to avoid?

  41. It really wouldn’t be like the Penguins to go cheap, but I mentioned that up there only because of the possibility.

  42. drew says:

    Morehouse shouldda been fired too. Guys a trainwreck. Shero, Bylsma, and Morehouse should have all been let go at same time month ago

  43. Rbilak says:

    The question to ask is why? There is something amiss about the organization that this scrub 57 year old turns them down? GMJR is not showing fans anything. We look like the Browns. Two year deal? So after one they are lame ducks? Was Pierre not lying about wanting 5 years and Pens only going 2? Sure sounds that way and GMJR looks like defacto choice. Maybe the way they treated Dan? Is it Sid? Wow. Maybe by Sept they will hire someone. Shero and Dan are laughing.

  44. Well, that’s one way of looking at it. Maybe Pittsburgh will become Retread Heaven.

  45. Eric Wallich says:

    How can anyone clearly state the Penguins are “butchering” this hire? Everyone needs to face the facts that while this job may seem to be a top coaching gig, it clearly has baggage that goes along with it. For example, how do we know what input the new head coach would be permitted to have? Were assistants being forced on him, etc. Secondly, why would any coach (even coming from the AHL) take a 2 year contract, when most new head coaches are signing 4 and 5 year contracts? Finally, a coach that NEVER missed the playoffs was recently dismissed. This team has 2 of the biggest superstars in the world – how tough would it be for a former AHL coach to gain their trust and/or respect? This head coaching position comes with an extreme amount of pressure both internally and externally, thus making it a harder position to fill.

  46. Mike Vee says:

    This team is starting to look more and more dysfunctional every day. The damage Shero did to this team i.e. drafts, trades, contract, lack of gritty players is going to take time to fix and the longer this goes on the harder it will be to cure.
    The “top” guys should have put the breaks on this a year ago and we wouldn’t be burdened with a 5 mil salary to Scuderi and 7+ mil to Letang. I love Letang but he is NOT a 7+ million dollar a year player. That’s 20% of this years cap that needs to be dealt with asap.

  47. Scott says:

    My question is why is the organization being so open with the head coach search?

  48. KM says:

    We are a few weeks away from embarking on the most critical offseason of trades, free agency, and roster management the team has undergone in the past decade.

    The way the GM and Coaching searches have gone, I’m absolutely terrified to see how they handle Neal, Letang, Fleury, Sutter, the bottom 6 grit/toughness issue, Free Agents, etc…

  49. If I’m interviewing here, I’d want to hear very directly that I’m not being hired to hold place for Babcock. I know that.

  50. Blassfastball says:

    If the Penguins are waiting for Babcock to be available they are making an unmitigated disaster. If they aren’t doing this then they appear to be as inept as the 1987 Pittsburgh Penguins who hired Pierre Creamer. If you don’t know Creamer didn’t realize his team needed to win its last game to make playoffs and wouldn’t pull his goaltender in a tie game to gain the extra attacker and go for the needed win. The team should be at its apex in terms of being a winner and a dynasty. Right now they appear to be a team that acts like a draft lottery hopeful.

  51. Mike Adams says:

    This has David Morehouse’s incompetence written all over it. Or could it be the fact that nobody wants to coach a bunch of pampered country-clubbers?

  52. Jeff Deburgh says:

    If it’s anything, it’s years. One thing they aren’t is cheap

  53. KM says:

    Very surprised a seasoned veteran front office executive would say “I have my guy” and then 2 days later say “We lost our guy”. Isn’t this PR 101 for a GM?

    Now the head coach that eventually gets hired knows he wasn’t “the guy” and he may not have been in the top 10.

  54. Because Babcock and Detroit will have no say in the matter?

  55. Brad says:

    Came via a Twitter link DK…

    No Peters, no Desjardins and let’s assume no Ulf, who’s your next pick?

  56. Ace McTasty says:

    I don’t. Just speculating based on internet rumors. As far as I can tell those are never wrong.

  57. Mike P. says:

    Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. JR looks like he has no clue what he’s doing. Ownership has set the highest expectations while at the same time showing they’ve got no qualms about hanging their coaches out to dry and hiring an “interim” GM while not actually calling him that.

    If all of that means that their first few choices fall through and we’re left with Ulf or Hynes as Plan D, maybe it’s for the best. Because the choices these guys have made so far don’t inspire confidence. Plan A probably sucks.

    From a fan’s point of view they look like they have zero direction, zero plan. Bumbling. I can’t believe that two guys as smart and as savvy as Lemieux and Burkle are letting the organization become the butt of the offseason jokes.

  58. Mike Adams says:

    As far as I know, NHL rules prohibit trading for a coach.

  59. espo33 says:

    Wilson or Crawford would be a major step backwards just like hiring Ruth’s as GM.

  60. TJ (Coach Baldee) says:

    DK! Crosby and Malkin HAVE to have some input on this search. Right? Or Wrong? Gut feeling Crosby wants a proven veteran coach. Not a guy from the minors. What’s your take?

  61. Tim says:

    Is it odd just how forthcoming Rutherford is through all this? Don’t get me wrong, I find a little bit of transparency refreshing, but it seems crazy to come out and bluntly, publicly state that your first choice “is going in another direction.” Maybe I’m just too used to the way to old regime operated?

  62. Ray Shero says:

    And you thought I was a bad GM….

  63. Mark says:

    If you are a GM, why bother even putting it out there that you are “close” to signing a coach or “narrowed down to one guy” then clearly having to show you lost him?

    Why not just say “we are in the process of interviewing….” anytime someone asks you how’s it goin?

    Is this a good example of why coaches, gms, players, etc always give cliche canned responses? Now GMJR has some egg on his face, should have cliched his way through the last two weeks.

  64. Lee says:

    How involved in the search are Botterill, Guerin, and Fitz? Is it maybe that this management model has too many cooks in the kitchen already?

  65. coba39 says:

    I agree. Vito Corleone taught Sonny to “Never let anyone outside the family know what you’re thinkng.” When you tell the world you are close to hiring a coach, and it doesn’t happen, you look foolish.

  66. You’ll never have four people agree universally on everything. It’s possible.

  67. Mike Adams says:

    And, next weeks starts the period when you can talk to free agents. I know the Pens won’t be real active, but what potential FA will even listen to JR when there is no coach in place?

  68. Brian N says:

    The Pens job obviously is just not as appealing as us fans in this city think it is. Also seems like, based off reports, that management wants to have way more control over the team than these candidates feel comfortable giving up. Like the GM wants to appoint high level assistants who report directly back to him. He also has an assistant GM who reports back to him on the locker room. Something a coach could see as management intruding on his job. Everyone who feels slighted or held back or mistreated real or imaginary can run to “Daddy” and tell them whatever story they want. If I was interviewing I would be questioning them on those peoples roles and wanting to know just how much authority I really have. And if I did not like the answers there is no way I would not put myself in that situation. Just an observation

  69. Brad Minoski says:

    Read your blog post. Yes it was an embarrassment that a career minor leaguer like Desjardins was considered for the job. I don’t think its going two be an embarrassment if they go two their 3rd choice. Lets be honest this job is a tough sell two many Because of the high expectations of EVERYONE. But if this is really all for Babcock then I lost all respect for this team. Hire the right coach NOW and stick with him. Don’t chase after a pipedream.

  70. JoeyJ0506 says:

    Dejan, thank you for the personal invite to participate. Anyway, I think the shiny veneer the Penguins had only a few short years ago has begun to chip off. Something is rotten in the organization and the stench of it is chasing off candidates for the coaching job.

    I feel that ownership is demanding a more active role in the day-to-day workings of the team, and that is rubbing these men the wrong way. Feeling as if their authority is undermined by the higher-ups has to be extremely frustrating.

    Would you want to coach this team knowing that Mario, et al are going to force changes in coaching tactics as they see fit? Especially when all the blame will fall on the head of the coach?

    Personally, no thank you!

  71. If they’re stupid enough to wait for Babcock, then there would be nothing more stupid than trying to predict what they’ll do next, right?

  72. Poole says:

    Early to ask this question, but seriously, anyone feel that having some stability with Shero right now would be better?

    We are also missing valuable time on roster decisions….

  73. Drew Zaborsky says:

    Pens are not the destination they think they are. Didn’t we hear(or assume) big free agents wanted to play with Sid but that’s never been the case. For varying reasons Hossa wanted out of here, Staal wanted out, Parise didn’t come here. Now the Pens were not impressed by the prospective GMs so they settled for a retired guy. Next they get turned down by a 57 year old who’s never coached in the NHL so he can coach Vancouver. Vancouver has the aging, poorly drafted roster now that the Pens will be in a couple years so he didn’t go to a better job. They got tuned down so the guy could take, on the surface, a worse job. This is stink on top of stink for this management. I don’t expect it to get better.

  74. If none of the previously named candidates work out, Mike Johnston would be my first choice.

  75. Wanda Simpson says:

    When I look at the success the Flyers had with Berube this year, I look at Ulf and say why not? There is something missing in the locker room and now I’m beginning to think there is something missing in the front office.

  76. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    This is the same panic that ensued with the GM search and the fear of Pierre McGuire.
    Let these competent people hire a head coach!
    Hockey season is too long as it is…..Let them take their time.
    What’s the rush?

  77. Big leagues to minors is a demotion, 100 times out of 100. Ask people in the business. He had one year left on his NHL contract and spent the last year in the minors. The big-league team ALWAYS takes priority. ALWAYS.

  78. Jon says:

    Phoenix East!

  79. Mike P. says:

    I’m picturing Rutherford thumbing through an old coffee-stained rolodex…

    Bowness
    Hanlon
    Milbury
    Paddock

    He lands on Mario Tremblay…reaches for the rotary phone…

  80. When you announce that you’ve got your guy and it’s some 57-year-old minor-league lifer, and that guy turns you down, ‘butchered’ is the kindest word that can be used.

  81. coba39 says:

    If hired, would Ulf be the first Swedish NHL head coach?

  82. Rbilak says:

    DK sorry reading posts I say someone write 2 year offer. My mistake. Would love to know why made him go to Canucks.

    My other concern is hearing GMJR talk, he seems to be in line with no player changes of the core. While agreeing bottom 6 stunk, the core needs a shake up. They have become complacent. I hope he was just not tipping hand. Huge decisions on Letang NTC, MAF extension or not, Neal are needed. Who is in charge? Not inspiring confidence.

  83. EVLINC says:

    The 800 Pound woman in the room that no one in media has the balls to call out Is Burkle’s sock Puppet David Morehouse being President & wanting to have final say is what led to NO ONE wanting to be GM & now NO ONE wanting to be HC ! they rightfully do not want to have to run everything through a Career Political PR Hack!

  84. Poole says:

    Brilliant!

  85. Rick says:

    How much worse can this organization look?

  86. Not even the ones in house.

  87. Jordan S says:

    His resume still is better than Ulf’s

  88. EVLINC says:

    Yes POOR POOR Dan who got a 2 yr. Ext. when he should have been Curbstomped & kicked to the curb was Treated SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO badly ! The Failsma Kool-Aid drinkers never cease to amaze me, & OH BY THE WAY the Pens are STILL Paying POOR POOR Danny Boy 2 Million a year for pulling lint out of Bellybutton

  89. I get the sense Rutherford had hoped to make this process as transparent to the public as possible in the interest of building trust. Also, remember, he came from a Raleigh market where there was a constant need to keep people tuned to what the Canes were doing.

    Came back and bit him here, obviously.

  90. Mike Adams says:

    Show me any proof that they are competent. Morehouse has run nothing in his life. Rutherford has, but he ran it straight into the ground.

  91. Tasso Athans says:

    Ulf is exactly what this team needs and also Rick Tocchet as an associate coach. Inmates always have run Pens asylum..time for real changes

  92. EVLINC says:

    COMPETENT ?? the same people who gave a 2 year extension to Failsma ?? only reason Shero was fired is because he had a clause in contract that he got final say! why do you think he & his agent insisted on that ??? HMMM ? because Morehouse was already sticking his dick in the punchbowl

  93. Mike Adams says:

    If I was Mario or Burkle, I’d be so livid that I’d walk straight down the hallway and fire Morehouse and Rutherford on the spot. Any one of the 4 stooges under JR would have done better than this. I think Francis sent him here to sabotage the franchise.

  94. I believe so. Was trying to think of another earlier in the week and couldn’t. Remember that Ivan Hlinka was the first European.

  95. Mike Adams says:

    Good point, although Niskanen and JOkinen are the only two I care about, and they were as good as gone already.

  96. Poole says:

    Important question: How does the Pens Public Relations spin this into a positive?

  97. radio wave says:

    How many years are they offering? What amount of years are the other teams giving their new hires?

  98. Anthony Smith says:

    Man I would just like this Front office to get it together and start making precise decisions. None of this “I think I have the guy” or “We will let the next GM decide the coach’s fate”. Man the Front office has botched the the offseason worse than the team blew the 3-1 lead to the Rangers!

  99. Michael Mallek says:

    They may have wanted Desjardins, and they may be botching this completely but it may be a good thing. I think that Desjardins would be a huge mistake, so know they may get it right. (ulf) They may have another chance at it and see something they missed. (ulf) It doesn’t matter how they get to the right result (ulf) as long as they get there (ulf). But boy this makes me worried about making good decisions moving forward.

  100. mike says:

    posted roughly the exact same thing in comments on the article….your ‘choice’ now knows he wasn’t ‘the man’ and so does the locker room….you almost have to go with ulf now, if you want the players to show some respect….

  101. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Oh hogwash….And don’t think you’re shocking me with your expletive language scenario.
    Big deal…..

  102. P says:

    They look like clowns now and I agree that they missed out on their first two choices. But—hopefully it all works out (I tend to think getting a good coach from among those without experience is mostly luck anyway). As long as they get someone who is a strong presence and can get the most out of Sid and Geno, it will be OK. My guess is any number of possible options could do that.

    I am concerned that our seasoned GM is making this all public for no reasons, which looks bad and could influence who is willing to coem to PGH in free agency or trades (assuming a no movement clause).

  103. EVLINC says:

    UMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM Mike Mario & Burkle ARE the Problem, Mario doesn’t care anymore, Just like with hockey He has gotten bored with owning team & that created a vacuum where Burkle got his sock puppet Morehouse in a President & CEO!! Funny media Ripped the Steelers for “Retiring” Bruce Arians but not a word written when Pens “Retired” Ken Sawyer a Lifer in hockey

  104. Nick says:

    I agree with you that Ulf should be the guy. As a former Pens defenseman, I think he would significantly improve the likes of Maatta and Derrick Pouliot whenever he joins the Pens. Playing a more defensive system would probably be a good look for them.

    I still have my worries with Ulf.

    One of the main reasons Bylsma was fired was because he couldn’t deal with Malkin and Crosby and was too much of a “players’ coach”. Reading your article about Ulf, it seems to be like he wouldn’t take any of the stuff that Byslma let slide. But I don’t know if that is a good thing, it could potentially create more dissension that was reported in the locker room toward the end of Byslma’s tenure.

    To me this whole “managing superstars” is overrated. Bylsma changed a lot to try to accommodate Crosby’s and Malkin’s style of play. Tried to be more defensive (especially this season), while allowing them to be creative offensively. He’s a fantastic coach, it just didn’t work out in Pittsburgh.

    Now is the time where we as fans have to stop blaming coaches and start placing the blame on these stars. Dan Bylsma absolutely did everything he could to motivate these stars. No question. There is no way that he just sat back and did nothing and let 87 and 71 just do whatever they wanted. 87 did not show up all playoffs (with the exception of game 2 against NYR). Being the franchise players, it is their responsibility to show up and actually show like they care, unlike what Crosby did this spring.

    Regardless of who the coach is, it’s time for Crosby and Malkin to step up and buy in. They are perfectly capable and I have faith. But this most recently collapse was not entirely Bylsma’s fault. My main concern with Ulf is that they won’t respect him and it will be the exact same problem that it is now. You would know better than me DK, but just how I feel. Like to see your perspective on my thoughts.

    PS.
    I know it will never happen, but if Mario came down from the press box and coached, the playoff woes of this team would turn around immediately. Hey, it’s okay to dream right?

  105. Mike Adams says:

    There is truth in that. I’d be happy if they sold the team to someone who actually knows how to run it.

  106. Nolin Dillane says:

    Given what’s happened do you think Ulf would still be open to the job? Is management even considering him?

  107. Andrew Sunday says:

    Dejan, I have to agree with you about Ulf. I feel he won’t take star powered guff and will really get the most out of our talent. Our young d will thrive playing and developing under him. My question to you is, would scuderi benefit from playing under Ulf. We all know we are stuck with this contract based off of past year, but I wonder if a change in system with puck retrieval and net presence would benefit Scuderi in the next couple of years. What say you?

  108. Mike A. says:

    You are missing the point. Even if you feel Bylsma crapped the bed as coach, you have to realize that other coaching candidates see how he was left dangling for two weeks. That has to give anyone pause to consider whether this organization is committed to treating its employees with dignity. Although, judging by how they treat their season ticket holders, I think I already know the answer to that question.

  109. Mike Adams says:

    The good news is maybe Regis will apply for the coach opening. That will bring two more weeks of wailing and gnashing of teeth. That is at least comical, right?

  110. Brian says:

    It’s not just the bungling search. Ufa’s can speak to other teams beginning June 25. That means the time to salvage a pick for any of them is rapidly dwindling. Niskanen isn’t going to resign here. He should be dealt and at least one pick should be acquired.

    Rutherford is a bumbling ditherer. Is it becoming clear why his teams usually sit out the playoffs?

  111. Mike A. says:

    I think I know who penned this post. I must agree with your POV.

  112. EVLINC says:

    shocking you ??? this is how I talk ! so why did Shero & his agent have that clause in his 2nd Contract there Boy wonder. Just for the Hell of it ?? just struck him as cool to do?

  113. Honestly, this is the No. 1 question I’ve been wondering myself since this latest development. No one likes to be insulted. This is insulting.

  114. Ulf would command instant respect.

  115. EVLINC says:

    bottom line is as long as Morehouse wants a final say in something he knows nothing about quality GM’s & HC’s will not come here

  116. EVLINC says:

    BS!! Sid gets what he wants ! he wanted Kunitz & Dupuis on his line & got it & even after trading for a Future HoFer Iginla he still got Kunitz & Dupuis on his line. Until someone sits Golden Boy Sid down & tells him “Not everything that is best for you, Is best for the Team”

  117. Poole says:

    It’s less that they wanted “out” or didn’t want to come here. It’s more about they weren’t willing to take a discount to be here. Staal’s case was much different. And Hossa…grrr. But same with Jagr. And a lot of UFAs chose to take their payday rather than play for the discount (Talbot).

    You make a very valid point though. Just saying sometimes its all about the Bejnamins.

  118. Mike A. says:

    Both.

  119. Eric Hancsak says:

    I’ve always thought that whole thing about the Pens organ-i-zation being THE place to be, was a bit overblown. First class, yes. But the idea that GMs, coaches and players are begging to play here seems a bit like PR propaganda. When Hossa turned down big money for lots of years, that was the first clue. Then Staal wants out. Then Suter and Parise turn them down. Jagr jerks them around. Now this coaching situation. Granted, Iginla choose to come here, and so have others. But in reality the Pens are not the BEST option, as they would like many to believe.

  120. EVLINC says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO you intentionally missed the Point of he was given a 2 yr. ext when they should have fired him into the sun & he is still being paid by Pens at the cool rate Of 2 M per.

  121. EVLINC says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO you intentionally missed the Point of he was given a 2 yr. ext when they should have fired him into the sun & he is still being paid by Pens at the cool rate Of 2 M per.

  122. Mike says:

    Feels like the team is pretty much in shambles right now. Over-reacting, or is this as bad as it seems on the outside?

  123. Poole says:

    I hope there’s a nice, warm and fuzzy episode of “In the Room” about this :-)

  124. EVLINC says:

    AWWWWWWWWWWWWW HOW CUTE another Failsma Kool-Aid drinker

  125. Duke says:

    What alternate universe are we living in? Who is this? Uncle Leo? #PensCoachingSearch #GongShow #ULF

  126. Jason Paschel says:

    So in the last few weeks Pens fans have experienced blowing a 3-1 lead series lead, ownership fires the GM, ownership then leaves Bylsma in limbo for 3 weeks when they knew he was going to be fired, you actually interviewed Pierre McGuire, ownership then hires a GM that announces an exit strategy the same day he is hired, and now you butcher the coaching hire?

    I guess I should be happy because I wanted Ulf anyway, but the Pens are an absolute mess right now. I know I know 66 and Burkle don’t owe us anything. We are just lucky we have a hockey team.

  127. Rob says:

    It is a butchering, and it was butchered from the very start. If they had no clue who to hire as GM, they could’ve canned Bylsma immediately but at least hang on to Shero. That was mistake #1. Now they have a GM who has no clear choice for a coach. And if they do want Babcock next year, every candidate, even a 57 year old career minor leaguer, would see right through that & opt for job security instead. (Even though the Canucks sprung their coach after 1 year, they still didn’t have his successor targeted before he even started). The only coach the Pens can get right now is a long vet who wants back in, even if he realizes it might be for just one year if things don’t go well. That means someone like a Mike Keenan or Ron Wilson. It may work out or it may flame like Tortorella did… but its hard to imagine anyone else willing to accept these conditions for hire.

  128. Jeff says:

    Rutherford should not be telegraphing every step of the process to the media. He needs to shut his mouth until he has a new coach. If the pens look bad, it is only because he has some need to let us know the progress of the coaching search minute by minute. No point in letting us know he settled on a candidate unless things were final. Now all the others know they were second fiddle and the pens look bad.

  129. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m convinced that Steve Pederson has been hired as a consultant.

  130. Steve says:

    Dejan,

    I agree, this is a butcher job at the highest level. It’s especially odd when you consider how much effort they commit to their branding and “message”. The message I get is that they don’t know what they are doing.

  131. Mike Vee says:

    87 was beaten to a pulp by Dubinsky and then Staal. Sid is not the same player he was as far as aggressiveness goes and rightfully so. Its Bylsma’s and Sherro’s job to have a team on the ice that could have handled those problems in the 1st period of each series. They chose to bench Glass and Engelland. 87 and 71, to a lesser extent, were fair game. If Sid was on the Bruins do you think he would have been slew footed after a whistle or punched in the head at least 6 times that I saw….I think not. Makes me miss a guy like Goddard that protected his team even at the risk of a suspension. Anyone remember the game 4 years or so ago when Rosehill, on Toronto at the time, went after Sid along the wall and started punching him. Next shift Goddard punched his face into the ice and cut him wide open. Guess what, Rosehill avoided Sid like the plague the rest of the year. Case Closed

  132. hockeymonster says:

    Van deal isn’t finalized yet. One more phone and try in the cards? Those saying he took a step back by taking TX stars job is misinformed. He’s won at all levels which is a tell that he knows what he’s doing. There’s a reason Ulf hasn’t been scooped up yet. It’s cuz AV runs the show and Ulf is along for the ride.

  133. statz61 says:

    They should have move this team to Kansas City a long time ago….then at least that would have saved this fan base some sleep and high blood pressure for the last 5 years.

     

  134. Bill says:

    Absolutely agree. They would not bad if he kept mouth shut.

  135. hockeymonster says:

    Speaking of AV, too bad no one suggested we bring him in after last season? Oh wait….

  136. Clayton says:

    Babcock is in contract through this next season with the Red Wings. Whatever happens with the Pens would be temporary for this year if they go for him. I want Ulfie!

  137. bpn8pitt says:

    That takes guts and a whole lot of other things to turn down a job with two of the best hockey players in the World on it.

    Must be a Keith Butler/Dick Lebeau thing to it, in Dallas.

    Dallas Stars? Really, Willie?!?

  138. hockeymonster says:

    Here’s a name we may be hearing soon: Scott Arniel

    Should thrill DK.

    Couple others: Scott Neidermeyer(again), Brad Shaw, Doug Houda

  139. Blassfastball says:

    It’s still a coveted NHL coaching job. If Ulf were asked I would have think he would be interested in coaching the Penguins as opposed to be an assistant coach elsewhere.

  140. hockeymonster says:

    * are misinformed…irony.

  141. wicked-1 says:

    I don’t see the issue with not firing Dan until they had a gm in place. Doesn’t seem to have affected his search for a job. He’s out there with everyone else looking for a job right now…coaches are just now being hired. As far as Pitt..bring ulf in and move on. Give the guy a chance. If it doesn’t work out..oh well. Better than bringing in an old retread. Ulf would work out well IMO. He would command respect in the locker room and bring a new style to the pens. Bring in TOC to be assistant..maybe keep jauques on the bench as well…and start looking for secondary scoring…let nisk go..or trade his rights. He will want to much for what he’s worth and we have a lot of talent waiting to step up. Bye brooks..try to find someone to the take rob…and let our draft picks live up to their potential.

  142. Jandy says:

    Hey Loonies. No word yet from Revvie…hope he is able to check in soon. Spent most of the day right on the beach…eve went in the ocean and let some waves hit me lol. Check in tomorrow

  143. Jandy says:

    Hey Loonies. No word yet from Revvie…hope he is able to check in soon. Spent most of the day right on the beach…eve went in the ocean and let some waves hit me lol. Check in tomorrow

  144. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Baloney….

  145. Jay Grant says:

    I absolutely agree with this.

  146. Slip Mahoney says:

    Sometimes, NHL assistant coaches accept the head coaching vacancy within their own organization in order to gain head coaching experience. Success at the AHL level has proven him to be a good head coach to other NHL clubs. Not a demotion by any means. I’m sure he chose his own route with this end in mind.

  147. Slip Mahoney says:

    Samuelsson was not very successful as a head coach in Sweden and very poorly thought of. They basically ran him out of the league. This is why he came back to North America in an assistant coaching role. He is not by any means the best candidate out there.

  148. AchtungMiQ says:

    Just pick Ulf already!

    So frustrating!

  149. Jim says:

    Why would Crawford be so bad?He has won a cup numerous division titles,coach of the year and won 400 games quicker then only2 other coaches

  150. Brad Minoski says:

    I will say this DK: If Willie/Peters rejected the job because of the quick pressure they would be under too succeed now. Then they weren’t the right guys 4 the job anyways. Willie to Van is a blessing in disguise because that would of been a bad hire. Desjardins is close to 60 before he got his 1st NHL HC job, little NHL experience, resume suited 4 a young team and not a seasoned team and not the type of guy who would of commanded the respect of the locker room the next HC desperately needs because I agree what Rossi said. It doesn’t matter who the GM or coach is, if you can’t change the culture then nothing will change.

    Believe me, like how your thinking: this is not the type of coach this team needs and it was moronic that he was even in consideration for the job in the first place. I mean what about this guy would Crosby and Malkin take seriously and respect?

  151. Brad Minoski says:

    I mean what about Desjardins would be a better fit than Ulf or even John Hynes, who has the exact same track record as Desjardins only difference is he’s in house but at least Hynes knows the players. I agree what you said above. This is insulting to Ulf that a AHL ham and egger was their choice before Ulf, a NHL player who has the past that would command the respect of the locker room and has legit experience at the NHL level. After the Kings refused Stevens to talk to other teams, you should of made Ulf the coach right there because he was the best out of all the available candidates in my opinion. Given the column you wrote recently, i’m inclined to think you would agree with me.

  152. Brad Minoski says:

    Because he’s too extreme and has had a poor record even since winning the cup with Colorado in 1996. No to him.

  153. TJ says:

    How old was Badger Bob when he got his first HC job in the NHL?

  154. wicked-1 says:

    All the talk about malkin as and Crosby running things is stupid. Crosby didn’t score goals..so what he still had points. Malkin as well. They should have been protected..like all the other superstar players. Stop the constant slashes and rabbit punches etc..with a good beating. Sorry but glass doesn’t fill that role. If they had secondary scoring and some grit players to make people pay for their actions..the pens would have went to the finals. The media are the ones blowing everything out of proportion. Things are fine. Pens will again make the playoffs..If they learned anything from their lack of personnel in the last few playoff years and bring in the correct pieces..they can win more cups now. Crosby and Malkin both want to win.. And can if management does its job. Dan and Ray had their chance and plenty of time to make it happen. Time to move on. Bring in the players we need…pleanty of cap space for the type of players we need after we clear out the players we don’t need…let our defensive prospects play..which frees up money for the real things we need. Keep letting..big hit to cap..but when he returns to form..people will be glad we didn’t trade him. All in all its way to blown up in media..who will change their tune with every win they put up next year..and there will be plenty.

  155. Brad Minoski says:

    In his 50s but unlike Desjardins, he coached at a high level being a HC at the University of Wisconsin winning multiple national titles in the 70s. Little different then winning the Calder Cup in the AHL.

  156. Brad Minoski says:

    Yeah this is hardly a meltdown. A guy who never should of been considered for the job and would of been a hire hated by the fans given his shallow NHL resume turned down the Pens. If anything, this is a blessing in disguise but hey keep talking like this was something of epic porportions when it clearly isn’t.

  157. Mike says:

    Everyone knows Babcock is under contract for 1 more season. Per the comments above, it wouldn’t be tough to get him if they wanted him AND he wanted to come to the Pens. Detroit wants him out now and would make the deal happen.

  158. Ellie says:

    Please stop with the *two of the best hockey players in the world* nonsense. They’re not. Stars show up. They don’t. They get the sobriquet back when they *earn* it back.

  159. TJ says:

    You don’t consider this entire off season to be a meltdown? The way this entire process was handled?

  160. T.S. says:

    It amazing–or maybe not–that Mario doesn’t step to the microphone and speak. All of this reflects poorly on his inaction. Then again, I recall he wasn’t in love with the game when he played, so I wonder if this is somehow rooted in that. And yes I know he saved the Pens and has poured money into the team, but I feel like that was about him giving back to a city he loves and who adores him, myself included.

  161. Andrew says:

    Daquido I think you have met you’re internet doppelganger, in terms of hating a Pittsburgh sport teams’s ownership, though vulgar and single minded.

  162. Dan Novak says:

    Is it possible Ulf has already said no because of the coaching issue with his son. Possible out of respect to Mario everything kept on the hush !

  163. Lisa says:

    My glimmer of hope that this managerial plan could actually work, is slowly being eroded. They need to get their heads out of their collective $&&@$ and get this show on the road.

    Hire Ulfie before it’s too late. Do something.

  164. Mike says:

    Put this on the blog, Mike!

    Dejan

    Sent from my iPhone

    On Jun 20, 2014, at 4:43 PM, “Michael Bilski” wrote:

    Hey Dejan:

    I would say more “reset” than anything. Desjardin was the “guy I had” and the GM stated with whom “We couldn’t make it work,”. Nothing wrong with the guy “going to go in a different direction,”. Where is the panic? Favorite candidate is choosing to go elsewhere. If Desjardin compromised his own personal criteria just to coach The Pens because they are The Pens how would that have turned out? When everything went to crap over the next few years, like I think they will, how would that look on his resume? Revamp is the word for the roster and maybe he didn’t want to be strapped with a top heavy lineup.

    The team has criteria the coach has to meet. Simple. Are the criteria items realistic, reasonable or compatible with each other. I have no clue. Watching the “hits” the Pens gave out the past few years for me it was frustrating to watch. Watching most Pens bounce off opposition players just didn’t look right. Look at how many signings need done to fill the roster and how much cap space the team has. Get in the face of the stars and the team is done. Period, no matter how much the 3rd and 4th lines “hit” people.

    GM stated that he will add more candidates to the coaching search list not sure why they were not part of the original group. Interesting insight to the process. Ownership revealed that they wanted to fire Bylsma last year but allowed the GM to convince them to keep him allowing the new GM to systematically release the coach. Ownership regrets wasting a year getting to this point. It may take a few more years to weed out the inability to win against the good teams when it means something.

    Hope I’m wrong but it will be fun watching it work out.

    Mike

  165. Eric Bowser says:

    Nothing surprises me when the Penguins put all this power into the hands of David Morehouse. Clown shoes must be a hot item downtown because the clown show going on over at Consol is a joke.

    Cannot tell you how pathetic the handling of the offseason has been for the Penguins and you can bet more than a few people in the sport are laughing at them after all the arrogance that has been coming from this franchise for a few years now.

    There’s no plan and that’s unacceptable.

  166. Tim says:

    Ulf is exactly what the Pens need. Adding Tocchet as assistant will surely end the soft play. Can you imagine those two demonstrating hits in practice?

  167. Tire fire says:

    Its def e)

  168. Poole says:

    Don’t forget Ulf has a say in this too. Even if we offered it to him, maybe he doesn’t want the job.

    Forget about his kid playing here. Forget about the 50 things that could worry a new coach about coming here. Think about this example, in either 1 or 2 years, you have a good season but don’t make it to the ECF, you are fired. Now you are a fired head coach in your first head coaching gig that couldn’t win with a stacked roster. (stacked is relative). I’m not saying that makes him a bad coach but it does create a perception of failure and not a great career move, IMO.

  169. Big Dave's Pens Pregame says:

    This is a disaster. It’s bad enough that the Pens couldn’t get their choice in Peters or Desjardins, but what is really scary is the fact that they’d rather go to Carolina and Vancouver than to coach Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. What does that tell you? That tells you that something behind the scenes is scaring these guys off. Is it the looming hunt for Mike Babcock? Maybe, but he doesnt want to leave Detroit this year reportedly because his oldest child is graduating and he doesn’t want to relocate her. Even then, there is no guarantee he wants to leave Detroit. The Pens could go through all this and get burned by him next year. They need to go through this process as if Mike Babcock is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. Only then can they do the logical (hopefully!) thing.

    I agree with you Dejan, I’d love to see Ulf Samuelsson. I think he is the guy for the job and of course knows Lemieux, the city and the organization well. I’ve read now however that he is having cold feet about the whole thing and I’m sure he is slightly insulted that he is the third choice over two guys with less NHL experience than him.

    It’s a mess. I dont know if its Lemieux, Burkle or Morehouse to blame. All I know is they need to get it together because as a fan I am fed up.

  170. Rob Scott says:

    I’m sure I’m in the minorit but who cares who the coach is. No one knew who Blsyma was in Feb of 09. After last 5 wasted seasons, wake me up when the playoffs begin as that’s the only important games played.

  171. Kelly Lacey says:

    What a complete disaster…I still think they should have held onto Dan Bylsma until they found a coach they wanted…not put a job add in the paper and see what turns up in the bottom of the coaches pool…seriously

  172. Mike Fitz says:

    The way all this is going, I feel we are not far from a giant “Penguins Charities” Sign in an obscure sport in the CEC.

  173. Terri says:

    After the way this coaching search has gone, do we want this guy handling the draft next week?

  174. Adam Smith says:

    While I found the news of Doug Maclean being interviewed troublesome (he hasn’t coached for a decade), I liked what he said he talked about with Rutherford in terms of “dealing with star players.” I don’t think it’s so much dealing with players attitudes the way people think (I’ve never heard anyone who has ever dealt with Crosby to come away with the impression that he was spoiled or arrogant), rather it’s about transitioning them into a different era; one that is focused on winning rather than putting up individual stats. Maclean talked about the way Bowman made this transition with Yzerman and Federov in Detroit in the late 90′s. There are a lot of parallels there I think and that seems to be the challenge that Rutherford and the rest of the front office have been presented with from ownership. The question is, who is the coach for the job? It seems that fate (and everyone in Western Pennsylvania) would suggest that it’s Ulf.

  175. Mark Poliziani says:

    What a real joke this organization has become
    Once the best franchise in the NHL they can’t get minor league or any lower level coach to want the job

  176. Tyler Brain says:

    DK,

    Say we are waiting on Babcock, wouldn’t we have been better off with Bylsma wasting another year at this point? If Ulf is hired, like he needs to be, could you imagine him, Tocchet, and Rod Brind’Amour behind the bench and in the room? What’s the point of bringing in AHL coaches? We have the two best players in the world! It’s not the penguins are a semi-pro team in Alabama.

  177. bpn8pitt says:

    Hope you are having good time, Jandy. I get yelled at on Pens only posts too!!! ;)

  178. Ken says:

    Let’s play “What if…?”

    What if…Babcock?
    What if the Pens WERE okay with keeping Bylsma for this season, knowing full well they would go after Babcock next year and also knew what kind of a mess they would be getting themselves into finding a one-year placeholder?

    What if the 3-week dangle wasn’t really meant to be a dangle, but a real option for the new GM to not make a mess of things (like we see now)?

    What if…Rutherford?
    What if that was really GMJR’s call and with his GM advisory committee felt that we needed a change and pulled the trigger early?

    What if he knew he needed to make changes, but knew they couldn’t come in an ongoing continuation from the end of last year?

    What if he’s looking for someone who can give us a chance next year, but someone he won’t want to actually start something here?

    We know he’s just a bridge to the next “real” regime, what if he’s here just to take the fall for the rebuild that is happening at the worst time in the 87/71 narrative?

    What if…Burkle?
    What if Burkle HAD done this last year as he said he wished he did? The Steelers usually gamble for a year early instead of a year too late – what if this is the year too late? What if they all knew they needed to wait one more year for this to truly work, but they took the chance because they knew they couldn’t wait another year?

    What if…Ulf?
    What if Ulf was really called in for “future considerations”? What if we really don’t want him to come in and be the placeholder? What if Phillipe gets called up? What if neither of them want that to happen?

    What if…this is just a mess?
    What if this has just spiraled out of control now? What if these were all great ideas that just cannot all fall into place in such a short time?

    What if…we are really looking at hitting reset?
    What if we just go ahead and add Disco in as one of the extras added into the pool and interview him? We already have a 2 year deal in place with him… What if he’s the only one we can get to sign that deal?

    What if…this mess is really what we need?
    What if all this is blowing up in our faces right now and GMJR is let go after this year, and we choose one GM to lead us next year, get the coach we want going forward, and just blow it up because that’s the only way to get off this crazy ride…

  179. Joe says:

    Am I the only one who thinks this coaching search strangely resembles the teams handling of the Crosby concussion?

  180. Awboatguy says:

    Ulf! Ulf! Ulf! There. This guy IMO is the only guy who can walk into that locker room and command the level of respect that will be needed to get guys like Crosby to put out and play playoff hockey actually during the playoffs.

  181. Cyhm says:

    I really cannot understand why the players are not answering the phone? All of this from that smurcky press conference with Sid and Geno until now has just increasingly become more and more embarrassing. The team is poorly conceived and the management it seems is aiming to match and surpass it. First, does anyone know what kind of team they want? And this manage by committee is just wrong on every level. Seriously, the swear word of the day is cluster***k.

  182. Adam says:

    This all comes back to Jim Rutherford being a piss poor choice for GM….he has made rookie mistakes in this coaching searh….I don’t need my GM to be “open” with me about the search just show me you know what the fudge you are actually doing….and Pittsburgh fans only want to hear good news,not a minute by minute update.

  183. Mike P. says:

    I wonder if it’s a coincidence that the TSN website is featuring a piece on the Pens tanking to draft Mario.

  184. FootballPenguin says:

    In 1 month, front house/ownership comparisons went from Steelers to Browns. Painful. Embarrassing.

  185. At the rate this is going, I have but one question to ask the Pens’ owners at this time: Why didn’t they just retain Shero and Bylsma at their positions? I hardly think the Pens would in any worse position than they are now.

  186. Mike says:

    I have; enjoyed from an entertainment perspective/hated from a leaguers abuse perspective, the fact that the Pens were considered cup contenders. Leaguers, I mean, people promoting our Pens to be winners when they know fool well it aint so. Seriously, how could anyone think our Pens would win the cup? My perspective as a fan is they don’t have the stuff needed to contend yet. As an observer, the ship seems rudderless.

  187. Tony says:

    Is it possible that this is not ALL about front office mismanagement? Are candidates concerned about a locker room/players that put out inconsistent effort and refuse to alter/refine their game?

  188. Tony says:

    What happens to Ulf the first time he tells Gino that he is going to give him a swift kick in the ass for taking another shift off or making another crappy back pass in the neutral zone? Do you REALLY think anyone in management is going to back him up? I DON’T THINK SO!

  189. Lee says:

    It was embarrassing when Rutherford was hired. This is turning into a disgrace. Someone wake me up, please.

  190. Jim Heaney says:

    If the Pittsburgh Penguins really want Mike Babcock then go get him…If Babcock wants to coach the Pens…He would be here…The deal can be done if all parties are willing. ..Detroit won’t stand in the way.

  191. Willie Desjardins has apparently accepted the head coaching job in Vancouver. And that’s it with him.

  192. Bill says:

    This whole offseason has been a shambles from not firing disco to saying new GM will evaluate him, trying to get an agent to be GM, then hiring guy that stepped down from nonplayoff team, then having that guy fire disco sight unseen, then apparently being down to 3rd or 4th coach choice…all with draft and free agency around corner. So much for this being a coveted job?

  193. theplanisworking says:

    This gnashing of teeth is exactly one year too late.

    If Bylsma had been shown the door after the Boston massacre in LAST YEAR’S playoffs, and a good coach hired THEN ……… we wouldn’t be here today. The pens could have had Lindy Ruff, or Alain Vignault. But, by sticking with Bylsma another year, and another epic playoff collapse yet again, well, this is what you get.

    See what happens when one doesn’t do the right thing when the opportunity arises?

    By the way, bring back Edzo as HC.
    It would complete the clown car full circle.

  194. Rbilak says:

    1. The goal of any organization should be improvement. I am far from convinced we are better off now than the end of the year. Talk all you want about Rutherford not having money in Carolinia, does not change 5 years of top drafting high and not making the playoffs. Then we promote guys who are all part of the organization but not good enough to replace Shero?

    2. We hang on to a coach and are told he has a chance to continue. We then find out GMJR never considered him. That is the issue, not whether he should be fired or how much he was owed.

    3. Now we spend weeks hiring a coach, have the GM say he is nearly done, then find out he got turned down and now is going to add on to the list? That is incompetent. Part of the issue with Ray and Dan was Ray getting players like Murray and Iginla and Dan not fitting them on team. It would be nice to go into free agency with a coach and GM on same page. Saying nothing of the make up of the roster.

    4. Carolinia struck no fear in any team. They did not have much grit and character players. Ron Francis replaced Rutherford. Yes the Pens under achieved under Shero, however, he was decisive and got his man in trades. GMJR appears to have a hard time making decisions which does not bode well for this most important off-season.

    5. We got beat out by Carolinia and the Canuks for our coach. Think about that, who could believe this?

  195. Rbilak says:

    TJ 100 % correct. The issue is the process not the pure luck they did not get a 57 year old who was demoted.

  196. Rbilak says:

    I was for HC change last year. Shero tied his hands with Dan. My fear is no one thinks the players need a shake up too. Zero confidence in GMJR right now

  197. Mark says:

    If Shero had noticed his team had and was falling apart after Olympic break he could have made a change similar to Bylsma’s hiring, but he refused to make the change, at that point Laviolette was available
    What a joke organization now, from penthouse to outhouse BOO

  198. Jim says:

    Actually u r wrong about that. He had a winning record in Vancouver. And if anybody needed an extreme change it’s this team

  199. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Believe it or not….Some of my rhetoric is tongue in cheek and plenty of it is frustration of how the Pirates have been handled since ’96.
    But I guess I can see why you feel that way.

  200. Bill Eggert says:

    Ulf………….

  201. Roger says:

    Dejan,

    I really feel that the Pens are heading into Browns-esque territory with the way they have handled this entire situation.

  202. Karen22 says:

    Hey, Jandy!

    Enjoy! You’re missing nothing but a PR nightmare here! :)

  203. The Pens will be resuming their coaching search on Monday. And, hopefully, they’ll have hired someone by at least midweek, since I’m certain that the team is getting as tired of all this as we are.

  204. Mark says:

    How do we know that the new coach (ugh) will have connections to that NHL juggernaut Carolina Hurricanes
    Oh wait maybe it’s Pierre Maguire

  205. Bizrow says:

    I’ve said this before regarding a different club, but you can’t make this stuff up

  206. big walt says:

    DO I HEAR AN AMEN?

 
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