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Penguins fire coach Dan Bylsma, hire Jim Rutherford as GM

The Pittsburgh Penguins cleaned house after another playoff failure this season. (Noah Graham/Getty Images) The Pittsburgh Penguins cleaned house after another playoff failure this season. (Noah Graham/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Penguins fired coach Dan Bylsma and hired former Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford to lead their front office, the team announced Friday.

The team said that the assistant coaches will be evaluated by Rutherford and the next head coach.

Pittsburgh fired general manager Ray Shero on May 16, just days after the team blew a 3-1 series lead to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The team said they would evaluate Bylsma's status while the team searched for a new GM.

Bylsma, who won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's coach of the year in 2011, had a 252-117 record in six seasons in Pittsburgh and led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup championship in his first season in 2009. However, in each of the past five seasons, the team has lost to a lower-seeded team in the playoffs.

"Dan is a good man and a good coach, but I thought we needed a change in direction moving forward,” Rutherford said. “I have no doubt that he will go on to be a head coach in the National Hockey League and have success. The search for our new head coach will begin immediately.”

“We want to thank Dan for everything he has done for the Penguins organization,” co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said in a joint statement. “He’ll always be remembered as a big part of Pittsburgh sports history for his role in our Stanley Cup championship in 2009. We wish all the best to him and his family.”

MUIR: Top Line: L.A. Kings living dangerously; fiasco in Pittsburgh; more links
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