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Penguins fire Shero, keep Bylsma for now

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: May 16 2014 12:04:49 PM CDT
Updated On: May 16 2014 05:13:15 PM CDT
hockey sticks, generic, NHL

Shaun Best / Reuters

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced Friday that they fired general manager Ray Shero but are retaining coach Dan Bylsma for now.

Team president David Morehouse said in a press conference at Consol Energy Center that assistant general manager Jason Botterill will serve as interim general manager and is a candidate for the full-time job.

Morehouse also said the new general manager will decide on whether or not to keep Bylsma and his staff.

The Penguins were ousted in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Tuesday after holding a 3-1 series lead over the New York Rangers.

"We feel it is time to move our franchise in a new direction," co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said in a joint statement released by the team. "We share the disappointment of our fans that we have not had success in the playoffs over the past five seasons. We believe that new leadership in the general manager's office will bring a new approach and new energy and help us return to championship form.

"Ray is a good person who made a positive impact on the Penguins and the Pittsburgh community. We thank him for his contributions to our organization and especially for his key role with our 2009 Stanley Cup championship team. We wish all the best for him and his family."

Shero has been the team's general manager since 2006. Since then, the Penguins reached the Stanley Cup finals in 2008 and won it in 2009.

However, the Penguins have been eliminated from the postseason by a lower-seeded team five straight years.

The Penguins had the second-best record in the NHL during Shero's tenure at 373-193-56 behind the San Jose Sharks (371-179-72).

In Shero's five full seasons, the Penguins never finished lower than second in their division but have won just three playoff series since winning the Stanley Cup in '09.

Botterill has been assistant GM since Shero hired him in May 2009.

Bylsma guided the Penguins to a 51-24-7 record this season. He has a franchise-record 252 wins since taking the job late in the 2008-09 season. He is 43-35 in the playoffs but 27-27 since '09.

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