ON THE SPOT WITH DAN BYLSMA
|When the Kings fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-1, on March 20, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach and former King Dan Bylsma chatted with Tommy Nast of LAKings.com.
On the Spot With Dan Bylsma
Drafted: Winnipeg Jets' 6th round choice, 109th overall, in 1989.
College: Attended Bowling Green University from 1988-92.
Playing Career: Played nine NHL seasons as a right winger with Los Angeles and Anaheim from 1995-2004. A role player who excelled at killing penalties and blocking shots, he played 429 NHL regular-season games and also played in the 2003 Stanley Cup Final with Anaheim. He retired as a player following the 2003-04 season.
Kings Career: Signed as a free agent by Los Angeles, July 7, 1994. Played with the Kings from 1995-2000, scoring 9-21=30 in 220 games. Also played in five playoff games going scoreless.
Ducks Career: Played for the Anaheim Ducks from 2000-04, appearing in 209 games, scoring 10-22=32. Also played in the Stanley Cup Finals with the Ducks, appearing in 11 games and adding an assist in the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Coaching Career: Began his coaching career as an assistant with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the AHL in 2004-05 following his retirement. He made his NHL coaching debut as an assistant with the New York Islanders in 2005-06.
Joined the Penguins organization as an assistant to Todd Richards with the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2006-07. Took over as head coach in 2007-08 when Richards signed on as an assistant with the San Jose Sharks, and posted a 35-16-1-2 record in 54 games, before being named interim head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 15, 2009. Bylsma led the Pens to an 18-3-4 mark in 25 games to close the season.
Quotes: "Dan Bylsma is one of the bright young coaches in the game and did an exceptional job for us in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before getting this opportunity in Pittsburgh," said Ray Shero, the Penguins’ executive vice president and general manager.
"As a coach, you dream about getting that shot in the National Hockey League, you may not get that with a team you could pick, for me to get my first chance, early in my coaching career with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the talent we have here, I am certainly fortunate," Byslma said. "I don’t feel the pressure about the situation, you cant ask for a better situation with a great organization and some talented players at a lot of different positions. Really it is a young team with young guys and it is about going in the right direction and pointing them the right way and forging an identity for our team and how we have to play."