Dan Bylsma spent the first part of his NHL coaching career in one of America’s hockey-crazed markets. Now he might have interest in beginning the next chapter of his career in a place that seems to forget it even has a hockey team.
Bylsma was fired by the Pittsburgh Penguins last week, but he’s not expected to be unemployed very long. The Sun Sentinel is reporting Bylsma and the Florida Panthers have mutual interest as the Panthers have a vacant head coaching position.
Panthers source tells Sun Sentinel that Dan Bylsma is interested and will meet with braintrust in Sfla Tues or Wednesday #flapanthers—
Harvey Fialkov (@hfialkov) June 09, 2014
Florida general manager Dale Tallon said recently that the Panthers would have interest in Bylsma.
“I do believe we will talk and see what his interest level is,” Tallon said, according to the Miami Herald.
Bylsma and Tallon worked together within USA Hockey, and Tallon was impressed with the 2011 Jack Adams Award winner.
“He’s a fine gentleman,” Tallon said. “I like him.”
The Panthers were a playoff team during the lockout-shortened 2013 season, but they were back among the league’s worst teams in 2013-14. Only the Buffalo Sabres finished with a worse record. Florida does have some good young talent, and they hold the No. 1 pick in this month’s draft. Tallon has said that he’d be willing to trade that pick if he got the right offer.
Florida, Carolina and Vancouver all have head coaching vacancies, as does Pittsburgh after firing Bylsma.