The Pittsburgh Penguins were eliminated in seven games against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. It marks the fifth season in a row that the Penguins fell short of the Stanley Cup Finals, after back to back appearances in 2008 and 2009, winning the cup in 2009. Today, the team has relieved General Manager Ray Shero of his duties and fired Head Coach Dan Bylsma.
Bylsma took over part way through the 2009 season which ended in a Stanley Cup beating the Detroit Red Wings in seven games. Since that Championship, the Penguins have finished either first or second in the Eastern Conference, didn't win a President's trophy as the League's top team, but had home ice advantage in every playoff series they played in during that time frame. Only once in the past five post-seasons, the Penguins reached the Eastern Conference finals, last year, and were swept by the Boston Bruins.
Shero took over in 2006 as General Manager and has been a part of all the success Pittsburgh has acquired since then. Bylsma owns the Pittsburgh franchise record for wins as a head coach with 252, also coached Team USA in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.
Sidney Crosby said Thursday that blame for the Penguins' playoff collapse falls on the shoulders of the players, not the coaches."At the end of the day, we feel responsible," Crosby said Thursday. "We are the guys that go out there and want to perform and want to win, and we have that expectation.
"It's difficult to win, and I don't think there's been any lack of effort from players, coaches, anybody in the conversation," Crosby said. "I don't think it's been a lack of trying."
Assistant general manager Jason Botterill will serve as the Penguins' interim GM and will be a candidate to take the job permanently, according to the team.