Dan Bylsma was just fired by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, the same day they introduced new general manager Jim Rutherford. From the sounds of it, Bylsma might not be out of work very long at all.
We don't mean the fact that Bylsma has been picked up by NHL Network as a studio analyst for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Final but actually becoming an NHL head coach.
Not surprisingly, Disco Dan is already garnering attention from one of the three other teams looking for a new coach, the Florida Panthers, and at least the interest is somewhat mutual as Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel reports.
Panthers source tells Sun Sentinel that Dan Bylsma is interested and will meet with braintrust in Sfla Tues or Wednesday #flapanthers— Harvey Fialkov (@hfialkov) June 9, 2014
Panthers GM told Damien Cox of the Toronto Star that he has already spoken with Bylsma, a second such indication meaning there's a little smoke here. Of course these are just talks and not reports of anything more, yet.
Tallon has been busy lining up all sorts of candidates including Gerrard Gallant and Ron Wilson. He has said that he's looking for an experienced coach after his last three (Peter DeBoer, Kevin Dineen, Peter Horachek) had never been a head coach in the NHL prior to taking over in Florida. With a Stanley Cup and Jack Adams to his credit, Bylsma has the experience part covered.
Perhaps with their bevy of prospects at various stages, the Panthers could be an intriguing position for Bylsma if he's looking to grow with the franchise that has potential for promise. Of course Florida has long been largely a hockey graveyard where prospects and coaches have really struggled to flourish but the new ownership keeps trying to sell those days -- and the days of not spending -- are going away.
There is also at least a little of a working relationship past between Tallon and Bylsma. The two were involved with Team USA at the 2014 Olympics, Bylsma the coach and Tallon on the management staff.
Keep in mind there are two other teams with openings (not including the Penguins) that Bylsma could look at in Vancouver and Carolina and Bylsma could certainly be attractive to them as well. He could very well have his pick of the three destinations.