Former Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma may have inked a deal to become the new bench boss of the Buffalo Sabres, but it appears there may still be a Penguins reunion of sorts in New Jersey.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Devils have trimmed down their list of coaching candidates and GM Ray Shero, the former GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins, may have pegged Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins coach John Hynes as the leading candidate for the job behind New Jersey’s bench.
The Devils, a club that is notoriously quiet on all behind-the-scenes happenings, haven’t tipped their hand or made anything official. However, the report from McKenzie was paired with news that Guy Boucher, the former Tampa Bay Lightning coach who has spent the past two seasons with Switzerland’s SC Bern and was considered a top candidate for the Devils job, will be returning to coach another season in the Swiss NLA.
Along with Boucher, Nashville Predators assistant coach Phil Housley’s name had been mentioned as one in the mix for the Devils job. With Boucher out of the running and no further word on the Housley speculation, Hynes would certainly be an interesting choice for New Jersey.
Hynes has been Wilkes-Barre’s bench boss for the past five seasons – he spent one year as an assistant before getting the top job – and posted a record of 231-126-27, including five consecutive post-season appearances. In no season under Hynes, though, did the Penguins manage to make it to the Calder Cup final. They did appear in two consecutive Eastern Conference finals, but lost in both 2012-13 and 2013-14.
Under Hynes’ tutelage, the Penguins earned one regular season title and one division championship, both coming in 2010-11 when the team went 58-21-1.
Compensation for personnel hirings has become one of the most talked about issues over the past few months, especially regarding the hiring of coaches, and should the Devils bring Hynes on as coach, the Penguins would, indeed, receive compensation. There is no word yet on which pick exactly New Jersey would need to give up.