June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero announces the Penguins first round draft choice in the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Pens Expected to Hire New GM Next Week

Ray Shero will no longer serve as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ general manager – that much is certain.

Currently, Jason Botterill is the team’s interim GM, but as far as who will be the official man in charge is completely questionable.

However, we are expected to find out who the new GM will be early-to-the-middle of next week, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Although we have yet to hear any word on who the candidates are, it’s alleviating to see the organization is finally coming to a decision as far as who will take the reigns.

Shero, who earned the NHL’s General Manager of the Year last season, was canned after Pittsburgh endured its fifth consecutive playoff ouster, and the search for his replacement has hit day 14.

Thought to be in the running, Pat Brisson – who’s Sidney Crosby’s agent – withdrew his name from consideration, and since then, the Pens have been stuck in limbo. While it’s still early, before we know it, the NHL Draft – as well as free agency – will commence. So, if Kovacevic’s sources are correct, and the Pens’ hire somebody next week, the move will be timely.

Whoever is hired though has a full plate.

The team has a number of key unrestricted free agents, and deciding whether or not Dan Bylsma will return as head coach are key deliberations he’s set to embrace. The new GM will certainly have his hands full – to say the least.

The next GM must establish a presence; saying that he’s executing these moves because he wants to build a new identity for this underachieving squad, and the blueprint installed is going to result in immediate success. But he also must assure stability moving forward, and that means developing longevity within the organization.

Stay tuned Pens’ fans.

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