Changes are coming to Pittsburgh after Tuesday’s Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers. That much is certain.
After the regular-season darlings failed to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the fifth consecutive season since their 2009 championship, losing yet again to a lower-seeded Eastern Conference team, head coach Dan Bylsma and starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury are on the hot seat.
But so is the man who gave Bylsma and Fleury a firm vote of confidence after the Penguins were swept 4-0 by the Boston Bruins in 2013’s Eastern Conference final.
Penguins general manager Ray Shero could be fired along with Bylsma and other members of Pittsburgh’s coaching staff, according to a report by Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that cites multiple anonymous sources.
According to Rossi’s sources, “Ownership specifically is concerned about a perceived lack of accountability for players, overall team toughness and unproductive drafts,” he writes. “The sources also said Penguins ownership might not want to undergo a complete front-office shakeup with only about a month before the NHL Entry Draft.”
No decisions regarding a front office or bench shakeup have been made yet, and they will not be rushed, Rossi reports.
“Our ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup,” Bylsma, who was named the league’s top coach in 2011, told reporters after Tuesday’s 2-1 loss. “We haven’t done that in five seasons. I haven’t contemplated what the price is going to be or anything toward the future yet.”
The 51-year-old Shero joined the Penguins in 2006 after serving as an assistant GM for the Ottawa Senators (1993-98) and Nashville Predators (1998-2006). He compiled a team that won a Stanley Cup in 2009 and claimed General Manager of the Year in 2013.