Top 5 Potential Replacements for Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach

Top 5 Potential Replacements for Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach

Coach Dan Bylsma
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

When Jim Rutherford was hired as the Pittsburgh Penguins' new general manager, he knew that changes needed to be made. One of the changes was getting rid of ill-fitting coach Dan Bylsma. Bylsma may have had the most wins in all of franchise history, but when it came down to components like making necessary changes to the team, especially during a playoff series, Bylsma was at a loss. Here are five prospects who could get the job done.

5. Ulf Samuelsson

Ulf Samuelsson Coach Phoenix Coyotes
Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports

5. Ulf Samuelsson

Ulf Samuelsson Coach Phoenix Coyotes
Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports

This ex-defenseman won two Stanley Cup championships as a Penguin and is currently an assistant coach for the New York Rangers. He was a good player, but he was also one of the most notorious players to play in the NHL. He is known for causing unnecessary fights and even ending a player’s career. The Penguins aren’t looking to become a dirty team, but Samuelsson might just have what it takes to toughen them up.

4. Rick Tocchet

Rick Tocchet Coach Tampa Bay Lightning
James Gullory - USA Today Sports

4. Rick Tocchet

Rick Tocchet Coach Tampa Bay Lightning
James Gullory - USA Today Sports

Tocchet also hoisted Lord Stanley with the Penguins. After his career on the ice, he became an assistant coach for the Colorado Avalanche. He was also an assistant coach for the Phoenix Coyotes prior to becoming head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Alongside his experience in coaching, he is currently an analyst on a live postgame show. If he is paired with the right team with the proper talent, he could excel in his coaching duties.

3. Willie Desjardins

Coach Willie Desjardins Texas Stars
Brace Hemmelgarn - USA Today Sports

3. Willie Desjardins

Coach Willie Desjardins Texas Stars
Brace Hemmelgarn - USA Today Sports

Desjardins' most notable coaching job was leading the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL during the 2002-03 season to the playoffs for their first time in five years. The following year, he helped the Tigers win their fourth WHL championship. He is currently head coach of the Dallas Stars AHL team, the Texas Stars, and has two coaching trophies under his belt.

2. John Stevens

John Stevens Terry Murray Los Angeles Kings
Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports

2. John Stevens

John Stevens Terry Murray Los Angeles Kings
Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports

With the Los Angeles Kings posting a 46-28-8 record this past season and currently leading the series against the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Finals, assistant coach John Stevens looks to be a great option for the Penguins. Stevens has helped head coach Darryl Sutter shape players like Drew Doughty. Stevens has also posted a 120-109-34 record as head coach for the Philadelphia Flyers and has led them to the playoffs twice.

1. John Hynes

Wilkes Barre Scranton Hockey Team John Hynes
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Facebook

1. John Hynes

Wilkes Barre Scranton Hockey Team John Hynes
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Facebook

Hynes is already part of the Pittsburgh family. He is currently Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's head coach and he is an excellent one at that. He has been with the Baby Penguins since 2010 and has helped assist them to the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs every year. He has also coached young, rookie players who are becoming essential to the Penguins lines such as Olli Maatta and Beau Bennett.

Amanda Sklarek is a Pittsburgh Penguins writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter, “Like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.

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