PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Big changes are coming to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins announced Friday that General Manager Ray Shero has been relieved of his duties and the team has already begun looking for a new GM.

Head Coach Dan Bylsma’s future is still uncertain though.

VIDEO: Watch the press conference:

“The decision is to have a new GM come in and do the complete evaluation, to evaluate the entire hockey operations department, including the coaching staff,” Penguins CEO David Morehouse said.

Assistant General Manager Jason Botterill will take over as interim General Manager and is a possible candidate for the job.

“I don’t think it’s impossible. I think he may. He’s a young guy, he’s only 37-years-old. I can tell you the organization regards him very highly,” said Josh Yohe, the Penguins’ beat writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, of the chances Botterill will get the full-time job. “My only problem with that is, he has a lot of the same philosophies as Ray Shero and thinks a lot of the same things about certain players. So how different will the Penguins be if the guy who was Ray Shero’s assistant is in charge?”

Yohe and USA Today’s hockey writer Kevin Allen also weighed in on Bylsma’s future with the team.

“I still think it’s pretty unlikely that he stays. I’ll give it about a 10 percent chance. I think it’s unlikely,” said Yohe. “It’s pretty clear there was some kind of a riff between the coaching staff, Bylsma in particular, and his best players. That’s not something you can really recover from.”

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

“Now the big question is, is whether or not this is going to hurt Dan Bylsma,” added Allen. “If we had to guess, I think we would all guess that a new guy is going to come in, is going to want his own coach. He’s going to look at a coach that has not had success in the playoffs over the last five years, he’s going to want a new guy.”

Earlier this week, the Penguins lost 2-1 to the New York Rangers in Game 7 of their second-round series.

What’s worse is that the Penguins led the series 3-1.

A win would have seen them advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for a second straight season.

Since the Penguins’ Stanley Cup win in 2009, the team has only won four playoff series. In each of the five years since, the Penguins have bowed out to a lower seed.

However, Morehouse says today’s announcement wasn’t made after some hasty decision following the team’s recent loss in playoffs.

“This is a decision that’s been in the works for a long time,” Morehouse said. “Since we won the Cup, we’ve wanted to get back to that — the Stanley Cup Finals — and we haven’t, so we’re gonna try to make some changes to try to make sure we can at least give it a shot to make it happen.”

KDKA’s John Shumway has fan reaction:

Morehouse went on to say the team is eager to hire a new GM as quickly as possible. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the new GM will be hired before the NHL Draft.

“We’re not going to rush it because of the draft,” he said. “We think that we have, with Jason Botterill and our scouting staff and Tom Fitzgerald, we have a group in place that can take care of us for the draft.”

As for Shero’s future, Allen thinks he will become a candidate for other jobs around the NHL.

“Ray Shero is now, the super candidate among all GMs,” said Allen. “It’s not a great field out there right now, and now he’s the guy that I think Washington will be looking at for sure. I just can’t imagine them not looking at Ray Shero.”

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Lemieux Reinforces Bylsma’s Resume, Says Ownership Proceeding Swiftly But Thoroughly (5/16/14)
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