Dan Bylsma was named head coach of the 2014 United States Men’s Olympic Hockey Team, it was announced today by USA Hockey. He will be representing USA Hockey for the first time in international competition.
Bylsma, 42, previously served as a coach at the 2011 U.S. National Junior Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., and as a speaker at the 2012 USA Hockey National Hockey Coaches Symposium.
The Grand Haven, Michigan native will be the second U.S. Olympic coach in 12 years with Pittsburgh Penguins connections. Herb Brooks, the visionary behind the 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’ squad, was a Penguins scout in 2002 when he coached the Americans to a silver medal in Salt Lake City.
Although Bylsma has been a head coach at the NHL level for just four-plus seasons, he’s already established himself as one of the most-successful bench bosses in the league. He led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup championship as a midseason replacement in 2009 and won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s ‘most outstanding coach’ in ’10-11.
Since taking over behind the Pittsburgh bench on February 15, 2009, Bylsma has posted the highest regular-season points percentage (.669) in team history, while establishing franchise records with 36 postseason victories and five consecutive postseason appearances.
On April 22 of this past season, Bylsma became the fastest head coach in NHL history to reach 200 wins (316 games) in a 3-1 defeat of the Ottawa Senators. Pittsburgh’s 201 regular-season victories since Bylsma took over are the most in the NHL during that span. Only Eddie Johnston (232 wins) has won more regular-season games than Bylsma in Penguins history.
Bylsma guided the Penguins to one of the franchise’s best seasons in 2012-13, as his club finished the regular season with a 36-12 record – the best mark in the Eastern Conference and second-best in the NHL behind only the Chicago Blackhawks – before advancing to the Eastern Conference finals where they lost to the Boston Bruins.
In addition to winning the team’s first Atlantic Division crown of Bylsma’s tenure, the Penguins also posted a league-best 15-game winning streak from March 2-30 – tied for the second-longest winning streak in NHL history. In doing so, the Penguins became the first NHL team to finish a full calendar month with a perfect record (min: 10 games).
As a player, Bylsma played nine NHL seasons for the Los Angeles Kings (1995-2000) and Anaheim Ducks (2000-04), recording 19 goals, 43 assists and 62 points in 429 regular-season games. He was a member of Anaheim’s 2003 Western Conference championship team.
Bylsma played four seasons of collegiate hockey at Bowling Green State University between 1988-92, tallying 37 goals, 50 assists and 87 points in 155 games.