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Dan Bylsma hired by Buffalo Sabres, Penguins get a 2016 3rd round pick

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The Pittsburgh Penguins old coach gets a new job, and the Pens get a draft pick to compensate them

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Bylsma's exile from the NHL is over. The ex-Penguin coach got his next NHL head coach job with the Buffalo Sabres, which should be a great gig considering how much young and new talent for the future.

That's good news alone for the Penguins, who get out from under paying the last year of Bylsma's contract.

The better news: Buffalo is sending Pittsburgh a 2016 3rd round pick.

In a way, it's strange being as the Pens put up no obstacles to the New Jersey Devils - a heated division rival - when they hired ex-Penguin general manager Ray Shero earlier this month. Given how prickly Lou Lamoriello can be, maybe the Pens were just happy to shed Shero's salary off their books and new better than to even try to leverage the 3rd round pick out of him, which might have sabotaged Shero's chances of getting the job (and Pittsburgh's chance to not pay Shero). Also Lamoriello could have put off his transition out of the GM job for one more year and just hired Shero for free next summer.

Buffalo, however, is in a different position. By virtue of their tanking for Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel, they have 4 (read 'em 4) 2016 3rd round picks. Their own, San Jose, Vancouver and Dallas. The Pens have already traded their 2nd rounder in 2016 (for Daniel Winnik) but have all the rest of their picks that year. In 2015, Pittsburgh has traded their 1st, 3rd and 4th rounders away.

So, on the surface, it's a good deal for both. Buffalo doesn't get their guy in Mike Babcock, but they still get a Stanley Cup winning coach in Bylsma. And the Pens wiggle out of Bylsma's salary AND get a future pick to help restock their trades of the past.