PITTSBURGH (KDKA 93-7 The Fan)- The Penguins hired Jim Rutherford as general manager Friday and fired Dan Bylsma as head coach.
Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo! Sports told Bob Pompeani that it appears that Mike Babcock, the Red Wings coach whose name has been mentioned with the opening, will coach out the last year of his contract in Detroit.
“Is he going to sign an extension? The Red Wings would like to sign him to an extension. If I’m Babcock, they would have to make me an offer I couldn’t refuse because if he’s a free agent after next year and he has the pick of any job in the league, that gives him a lot of options and a lot of leverage. Would he like to coach Sidney Crosby? I think he probably would,” Cotsonika said.
Cotsonika doesn’t understand why the Penguins would wait around for Babcock after saying they wasted a year by not making the front office moves in 2013.
“If you have Sidney Crosby in his prime and you have Evgeni Malkin in his prime and every year is precious, I don’t know that you wait around for Mike Babcock and hope for something like that,” Cotsonika said.
Cotsonika told Pompeani that it’s not a deep coaching pool.
“When the Toronto Maple Leafs kept Randy Carlyle, a big reason they did that was because they felt there wasn’t anybody that they were excited about who was available,” Cotsonika said. “I don’t know that this Scotty Bowman clone is going to come in right now. That’s why everybody’s talking about Mike Babcock and a year from now.”
Cotsonika said that while new GM Jim Rutherford had salary constraints in Carolina, there will be a different set of challenges with the Penguins.
“He’s going to have his hands tied in just in a different way in Pittsburgh, and that’s going to be one of his big challenges,” Cotsonika said. “Right now, the cap is an issue in Pittsburgh.”