I’ll be honest, I was nervous when Dan subbed in Miro Satan for the struggling Petr Sykora midway through the first round of the playoffs. I didn’t throw him under the bus, like some critics, but I was concerned that the move might backfire. Bylsma has had nothing but positives in his short time in the ‘Burgh, but you’d be fooling yourself if you didn’t think Shero was closely watching his interim coach. If that move would’ve ended our season in the first round, Shero might aggressively consider outside candidates for the head coaching position.
Winning the series probably aided Bylsma’s case to remove the interim tag. Today, Bylsma was announced as the current and future HEAD coach of your Pittsburgh Penguins, agreeing to a multi-year deal. And it’s sick that Shero invoked Badger Bob in his explanation for Bylsma’s new deal:
“Dan has impressed us all with his knowledge of the game, his relentless work ethic, his communication skills, and his ability to relate to the players and staff,” Shero said. “When Badger Bob Johnson was the coach of the Penguins, he said every day was a great day for hockey. Dan approaches the game with that same type of enthusiasm. He accepted the challenge of being our interim head coach in February and made this a very easy decision for our ownership and management.”
Bylsma is doing all the right things…winning games, getting contract extensions…but remember that Michel Therrien is not that far removed from his own good times/contract talk in the ‘Burgh. I’m anxious to see how far Dan can take us in this playoff bracket, and how his style reflects over an entire season.
This job is tough, and there’s a lot of pressure given the history of players and coaches that have come through the City of Champions. Bylsma has my full support, as a run to the Cup is now firmly in his hands.