After Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford proudly said yesterday, "I’ve zeroed in on one guy," to be the next Pens head coach, it looks like he got beat to the punch on hiring Bill Peters.
Sure sounds like Bill Peters was on the verge of being offered the Penguins job, before Carolina beat them to the punch.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) June 20, 2014
So they quickly turned to bring in Willie Desjardins into Pittsburgh for an interview. Fresh off of winning the Calder Cup (AHL championship) earlier this week, the 57 year old Desjardins seemed to be in the driver's seat to be named the next Pens head coach, being as the team brought him into town and has spoken with him a few times in the past couple of days.
Hold the presses?
Change of heart in Pitt? Hearing Desjardins no longer a slam dunk following meeting last night. Ulf?— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 20, 2014
Now, without Peters, it seems the Pens are back to square one and might not have an announcement soon, especially if the rumor that Desjardins didn't have a "slam dunk" interview. If he's not the guy, the team might have to circle back to other candidates including Ulf Samuelsson, as Dreger mentioned.
No word on where this would leave internal candidate John Hynes, but if he was far enough back in line that they liked Peters more, and Desjardins enough to fly him to town, it could be an indication that management is seeking a coach with NHL experience. Would that leave a door open for a dreaded "retread" candidate like Marc Crawford or Tom Renney? Time will tell.
"@MolinariPG: If the conflicting/misleading info about Penguins' coaching search were liquid, there'd be a flood warning." Fluid situation.— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) June 20, 2014
It's a fluid situation indeed. Maybe we'll have a head coach soon, maybe not. Stay tuned.