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If Penguins fire Bylsma, Rangers ready to pounce

Dan Bylsma

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma speaks during a news conference in Boston, Thursday, June 6, 2013. The Penguins are down 3-0 to the Boston Bruins in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs. Game 4 is scheduled for Friday. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)


The Penguins’ disappointing finish in the Eastern Conference finals has some out there thinking it might lead to Dan Bylsma being fired as their head coach. While that seems drastic, there’s one team ready to talk to him to be their bench boss should that happen.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post says if the Pens should part ways with Bylsma, the New York Rangers would move the 42 year-old Stanley Cup-winning coach to the top of their list of replacements for the fired John Tortorella. Of course, the Penguins would have to grant permission to speak with him so there’s that roadblock, but if they parted ways with the guy it’s a bit mean to not let him find another job.

As it is now, their list of candidates includes Alain Vigneault, Lindy Ruff, Dallas Eakins and former captain Mark Messier. Vigneault is believed to be the front-runner at the moment, but if Bylsma or Phoenix coach Dave Tippett became available that could change quickly. Tippett, however, remains firm that he wants to stay in Phoenix.

That said, if Bylsma does get swept out by GM Ray Shero, the Rangers won’t be alone in wanting to pursue him.