Pittsburgh Penguins Staff Will Be Targeted for League Openings This Summer


The Pittsburgh Penguins have one of the worst kept secrets in the league when it comes to coaching candidates in John Hynes, current Head Coach of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.

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There is going to be a ton of interest in Hynes this offseason, and one organization expected to inquire is the New Jersey Devils with newly hired Ray Shero at the helm.  They’re expected to ask for permission to speak with the AHL Head Coach once everyone returns from the IIHF World Championships.  But, will the Pittsburgh Penguins grant other teams permission to speak with John Hynes?

If they’re smart, no.  At first glance, it may look bad if the Pens deny other organizations the ability to interview Hynes.  Why would you want to hold someone back in their career?  It’s simple, really.  Mike Johnston hasn’t quite proved that he’s the right man for the job with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  To his defense, he didn’t prove that he isn’t either, though.  Either way, if things don’t work out with Johnston and a change needs made next season it will serve the Pens well to have Hynes available to take over.

Of course, if Johnston proves that he is undoubtedly going to be the future of this franchise, there will be plenty of openings again next summer.  The Pittsburgh Penguins won’t continue to hold Hynes back, but this summer isn’t the right time to let him explore other options.  Jason Mackey of the Trib discussed this topic as well in a blog found here, and it sounds like the Pittsburgh Penguins may be on the same page. They have to protect their own brand first.

Another name that is floating around hockey circles is current Assistant General Manager Bill Guerin.  It’s unclear what front offices have in mind for Guerin, as he doesn’t have coaching experience and isn’t quite ready for a GM role, but it’s clear that he’s highly respected and often sought after.

There are multiple teams in the league that are hitting a turning point with their current staff, either due to age, illness, or just poor performance.  You have to think someone will offer Guerin a similar position to what he has with the Pittsburgh Penguins but with more growth potential.  He’s currently in a long line of Assistant GM’s in Pittsburgh with no clear sign of taking over that role in the future.

I personally believe that if an organization asks for permission to speak with Guerin you have to grant it.  The Pittsburgh Penguins have an overcrowded front office and while Guerin is obviously valuable, that team needs blown up a bit.

With either Bill Guerin or John Hynes, the eventual suitor will be getting a quality individual.  Hynes’ coaching style is very similar to Dan Bylsma, and the Pens won’t be able to hide him for much longer.  I’d imagine that if he’s still coaching in the AHL next season, it will be his last in that role.  Look for John Hynes to be in the NHL somewhere for 2016-17.

Next: Trade Ramblings Part Deux: Market is Being Primed

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