PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – The Fan’s Jim Colony caught up with Penguins general manager Ray Shero after the announcement of head coach Dan Bylsma’s contract extension.
Shero said he began talking about a contract extension with Bylsma back in October, but didn’t finalize the deal until Wednesday.
The contract negotiations were the least contentious Shero has had between a GM and a coach. Shero said he and Bylsma have a “real good relationship… and see a lot of the things the same way in running a team.”
Shero sees a lot of upside in the 40-year-old Bylsma and thinks a lot of the people were able to see that with the HBO 24/7 series leading up to the 2011 Winter Classic.
Also, Shero talked about how he made the decision to bring Byslma on board as head coach despite the fact he didn’t have any NHL coaching experience.
He said Bylsma’s playing time in the NHL helped him take command of the locker room and earn the respect of the players.
Now that the trade deadline has passed, Shero said it is up to Bylsma and the team to make a run for the Stanley Cup.
The general manager said he will now work with amateur scouts to prepare for the upcoming NHL Draft this summer.
Shero said he would love to see “zero-tolerance” for head hits, but he doesn’t see how the league can accomplish that because a majority of concussions don’t come from head hits.
He also said it is very difficult for the team’s medical staff to know if a player has a concussion because symptoms don’t appear until days later.
As a father, Shero said he has first-hand experience with the injury because his son suffered a concussion in junior hockey; however, he and his wife didn’t know about it until days afterward.