Regardless of what happens this year, does Dan Bylsma stand a realistic chance to be the Penguins coach for the ‘09-‘10 season?
Some will say no, unless he gets the team into the postseason. Others will say no, because they believe Shero has his sights set on HIS coach.
Remember, Therrien was behind the bench before Shero came on board.
I feel that Bylsma has a chance to be the Penguins coach next season, due to his system. The system feels right for the Penguins and if he were to be the coach next year he would have a full training camp to implement it.
Based on my experiences with watching the Baby Pens and these past few games, he seems to be a good fit for the club.
There are some key factors to consider, that will play out over the remainder of the season, which will determine if he stays or if we look for a new coach.
Do the Penguins make the playoffs?
This one is straight down the middle.
If the Penguins make the playoffs and don't get thoroughly embarrassed in the first round Bylsma has a great shot to stick around, however, if the Penguins miss the playoffs or get swept in the first round, Bylsma is likely on his way out.
Does Shero have any more "tricks" up his sleeves?
Believe it or not, Shero's deadline deals will play a significant role in whether or not Dan Bylsma stays with the Penguins.
If Shero goes into sell mode and trades away Sykora or Staal it will severely affect the Penguins ability to win games and everybody knows that if you don't win games you could be looking for a new job.
If Shero keeps the players that help them win now it will help Bylsma, which could mean the removal of the interim tag.
How do the players respond to Bylsma's system?
The previous system under Michel Therrien was good, but not for this team, especially when you have numerous deficiencies in the defensive end as well as a streaky goaltender.
Dan Bylsma's aggressive scheme is excellent for the talent that this team has.
As shown in the Montreal and Philadelphia games, this team can be explosive, and the team just seems to be playing in fifth gear the whole time.
If you look at the trade made today by Ray Shero, it seems that he, too, has committed to a Dan Bylsma-like system.
It also shows that he has committed to Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski as well.
The rest of the season will be huge for the future of not only Dan Bylsma but also for certain players and even Ray Shero himself.