Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penguins Fire Shero New General Manager to Decide on Bylsma; Lemieux Says Roster Lacked 'Character'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penguins Fire Shero New General Manager to Decide on Bylsma; Lemieux Says Roster Lacked 'Character'

Article excerpt

The Penguins today fired general manager Ray Shero in the wake of another early exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs, but will leave a decision on coach Dan Bylsma's fate at least partly in the hands of Mr. Shero's replacement.

Assistant GM Jason Botterill will fill Mr. Shero's slot on an interim basis and will be a candidate to succeed him.

Mr. Shero lost his job after the Penguins' second-round defeat by the New York Rangers in the playoffs.

It marked the fifth consecutive year the Penguins were eliminated by a lower-seeded opponent and was seen as a disappointment for a team with such stars as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

"Our ownership group, led by Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, felt it was time to move the franchise in a new direction," Penguins CEO and president David Morehouse said at a press conference today. "Like our fans, they've been very disappointed with our early exits from the playoffs.

"They made this decision because we believe new leadership can help us get back on track and achieve our goal of winning the Stanley Cup."

It is not known when Mr. Shero's successor will be named.

Initial reports that Mr. Bylsma also had lost his job were not correct.

Mr. Morehouse said the next GM will evaluate the entire hockey operation, including the coaching staff, and will be the one to determine the fate of Mr. Bylsma and his assistants.

The team executive did not rule out the possibility of Mr. Bylsma keeping his job.

"This isn't a complete overhaul," Mr. Morehouse said. "We've had success during the regular season. We have a good team.

"This is a lot different than a team that needs to have a complete overhaul and revamping, that missed the playoffs for consecutive years. We're a team that's a good team.

"We just have high expectations and we want to get better."

Mr. Shero, who replaced Craig Patrick as GM in 2006, assembled the final pieces of what became the Penguins' Stanley Cup-winning team in 2009 and was honored as the league's top general manager in 2013. …

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