It appears the ownership of the Pittsburgh Penguins feels head coach Dan Bylsma is one member of the organization that should take the fall for this year's early playoff exit at the hands of the New York Rangers.
According to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, sources say ownership believes Bylsma lost the team, especially franchise players Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and have favoured his dismissal.
Penguins ownership continues to hold meetings that are expected to determine the fate of Bylsma as well as general manager Ray Shero.
"I think it's a foregone conclusion (that Bylsma will be gone)," TSN Hockey's Bob McKenzie said on TSN Radio 1050. "In the past, Bylsma was seen a as a beloved figure by the Penguins players but I think anything but that is the case right now."
The Tribune-Review report indicates that ownership feels Shero's signing of Bylsma to a two-year extension after last year's playoff loss to the Boston Bruins in four straight games ties him to his head coach. Sources told the Tribune-Review that if Bylsma needed to be replaced, Shero may suffer the same fate. Bylsma and Shero both have two years remaining on their current deals.
"I do believe the reports in Pittsburgh that there is some thought of going deeper than just Bylsma, but I don't know if that's being signed off in terms of general manager Ray Shero's future," McKenzie said. "Is it possible Shero could lose his job? I think it's possible. Is it possible that he could end up staying on? I think that's somewhat possible too."
Sources told the Tribune-Review the players weren't happy with the length of practices, the number of meetings and a general lack of fun atmosphere around the team this season. Specifically, Crosby and Malkin were not happy with the perceived criticism they received from Bylsma during team meetings.
The Penguins will hold their final media availability of the season at CONSOL Energy Center on Thursday.