Dan Bylsma is finally joining the Florida Panthers. Sort of. The former Pittsburgh Penguins coach will be an assistant coach for the AHL Charlotte Checkers this season after being hired by the Seattle Kraken.
Bylsma, who was a finalist for the Florida vacancy which went to Gerard Gallant in 2014, will join Geordie Kinnear’s staff.
The Panthers will share their Charlotte affiliation with the Kraken this season after Seattle’s AHL arena in Palm Springs will not be ready in time for the 2021-22 season.
Bylsma won Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009 and the Jack Adams Award in 2011. He also coached the Buffalo Sabres for two seasons and has spent the past three years as an assistant with the Detroit Red Wings.
The Panthers are believed to have reached out to Byslma in 2017 after he was fired by Buffalo. Florida hired Bob Boughner that time around.
“Dan joins our organization with an impressive resume and his experience speaks for itself,” Ron Francis, Seattle GM, said on the team’s website.
“He has a proven track record and we look forward to him coaching our prospects in Charlotte alongside Geordie Kinnear.”
Bylsma has experience in sharing an affiliate.
In 2006, Bylsma was an assistant coach for Wilkes-Barre which the Penguins were sharing with the Edmonton Oilers.
“It was a good situation,” Bylsma told the Kraken website. “We melded together as a group and helped developed good NHL players for both franchises.”
Per DetroitHockeyNow.com, the thought is that Bylsma will be the head coach of the Seattle AHL team in Palm Springs in 2022.
When he and the Red Wings parted ways, Detroit GM Steve Yzerman said Bylsma wanted to pursue another head coaching job.
FLORIDA PANTHERS LINKS
The Florida Panthers took care of one of their final pieces of offseason business as Sam Reinhart signed a three-year deal ($6.5 million AAV) on Wednesday.
Reinhart is going to be speaking to the media on Thursday morning — so check back in a bit. (FHN)
— One prospect the Florida Panthers will have in town next month is Kelowna Rockets center Trevor Wong who surprisingly went undrafted last month. He will be returning to junior hockey this season, but this is a good opportunity for him — and for the Panthers to get an close look at a player who scored six goals with 16 points in 16 games in last year’s Covid-disrupted season.
“When my name didn’t get called I won’t lie, I was a little bit upset and a little bit disappointed. … now it’s motivation for me.
“A few days after the draft, I was working out when my agent called and told me that the Florida Panthers invited me to attend their camp. It’s pretty exciting and honestly, I’m grateful that they noticed me. I’m thankful that they’re giving me the chance to go to a camp and see what it’s all about to be a pro.” (Kelowna Rockets)
— Miami Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King says he is “super excited” to sign on with the team in a marketing role. (Panthers)
AROUND THE NHL
Hall of Fame goalie Tony Esposito, who played almost his entire 16-year career with the Chicago Blackhawks, died following a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.
Esposito, a three-time Vezina Trophy winner, was 78. (TSN)
— Should the Bruins have saved a little cap space this offseason? (BHN)
— Taking a look at some cheaper options the Penguins could target. (PHN)
— Defenseman Nick Jensen needs to continue to evolve but is an important part of the Capitals.(WHN)
— Could we ever see a hockey version of how Michael Jordan created a sneaker culture?(CHN)
— Bridgeport is working on keeping the Islanders AHL team in town for a few more years. (NYIHN)