Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma has agreed to a three-year contract extension through the 2013-14 season, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.
Bylsma, 40, led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in 2009 and has his team in the hunt for the top spot in the Eastern Conference this year despite an injury-depleted lineup.
“Dan has very quickly established himself as one of the best coaches in the National Hockey League,” Shero said. “He has been a perfect fit for our organization since day one, and we look forward to having him leading our team for the next three seasons.
“I think what we’ve been able to accomplish so far his season, even with players like Sidney Crosby
, Evgeni Malkin
and Jordan Staal
out of the lineup for extended periods of time, is a testament to his coaching system, his adaptability, and his composure under pressure.”
Bylsma has an overall record of 104-52-19 with the Penguins and has the highest winning percentage (.649) of any coach in franchise history. He also is tied with the legendary Scotty Bowman for the team record in playoff victories (23) and playoff series wins (five).
This season, Bylsma has led the Pens to a 39-21-8 record for 86 points – tied for third place in the overall NHL standings – despite having seen his team already lose 265 man-games to injury. That includes Staal missing 39 games, Crosby missing 27, Malkin missing 25, Chris Kunitz
missing 15, Mark Letestu missing 13 and Brooks Orpik
The Penguins currently lead the NHL in penalty-killing efficiency (86.8 percent) while ranking fifth in team goals-against average (2.41) and tied for fifth in one-goal wins (19). They’re also tied for seventh in goals scored.
Bylsma was named interim head coach of the Penguins on February 15, 2009, with the team in 10th place in the conference and in danger of missing the playoffs altogether. They responded by going 18-3-4 in 25 regular season games to rise to fourth in the conference standings, then defeated Philadelphia, Washington, Carolina and Detroit en route to the Stanley Cup. Along the way, he also lost the “interim” tag.
Last year, in his first full season behind the bench, the Penguins were 47-28-7 for 101 points.
The native of Grand Haven, Michigan played nine NHL seasons as a right winger with Los Angeles and Anaheim from 1995-2004. He played 429 NHL regular season games, recording 19 goals and 62 points, and also played in the 2003 Stanley Cup Final with Anaheim.
He began his coaching career as an assistant with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks of the AHL in 2004-05 and made his NHL coaching debut as an assistant with the New York Islanders in 2005-06.
Bylsma was an assistant coach with the Penguins’ farm team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for two seasons from 2006-08 and was named head coach at the start of the 2008-09 season. He went 35-16-2 in 54 games with WBS before being promoted to Pittsburgh in February of that season.
Bylsma played four years of college hockey at Bowling Green. He and his wife, Mary Beth, have one son, Bryan, and reside in the North Hills.