Michel Therrien was let go tonight as the head coach of your Pittsburgh Penguins.
He was replaced by first year Wilkes-Barre head coach Don Bylsma.
First, with Therrien, Ray Shero basically said he wasn't happy with the direction of the team, and hadn't been for quite some time. That was the long and the short of why the firing happened.
Shero is a class act, even in times of difficulty. As part of the statement about letting Therrien go, Shero said
“We also would like to thank Michel Therrien for his significant contributions to the Penguins organization.”That's a nice thing to say, and he didn't have to throw in the "significant". He (Shero) also accepted the responsibility for what has happened this year, saying
"Everybody in the room I either traded for or signed to a contract extension. It starts with me. I'm the (general manager)."Bylsma is the "interim" coach. This is his first year as a head coach, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the Pens. I'm not sure they're ready for a someone that will be more relaxed with them, but we'll be able to see just what kind of leaders are in that locker room.
If Bylsma succeeds and the team makes the playoffs, then I think we see him around next year. If the team continues the descent... then Bylsma is a fading memory when the new building opens.
Let's hope this is the spark the teams needs to turn the corner.