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Bylsma’s chances of starting 2014-15 as a head coach are dwindling

Dan Bylsma

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Dan Bylsma gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues in Pittsburgh, Sunday, March 23, 2014. The Blues won 1-0. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


When the Pittsburgh Penguins fired Dan Bylsma it sent a wave through the coaching market, but as the waters calm it looks like every team that had a vacancy will pass on the former Stanley Cup and Jack Adams winner.

The Carolina Hurricanes ultimately hired former Detroit Red Wings assistant coach Bill Peters while the Florida Panthers have announced that Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Gerard Gallant will serve as their next bench boss. That just leaves the Vancouver Canucks, who seems likely to hire Willie Desjardins after he reportedly turned down Bylsma’s old job.

So unless a new vacancy presents itself -- and at this point that’s very unlikely -- it looks like Bylsma will probably be unemployed going into the 2014-15 campaign. That’s not a horrible scenario for him though and he’ll be a top candidate to serve as a in-season replacement for any squad that fires their coach at that point. That’s how he got his big break in the first place and it was as an in-season replacement that he won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009.

When he does eventually find a new employer, he will bring 400 games worth of NHL head coaching experience to the table. Among bench bosses that have overseen at least that many games, he ranks first all-time with a .670 points percentage in the regular season.

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