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article imagePittsburgh Penguin's Coach, Michel Therrien, Fired

By Carolyn E. Price     Feb 15, 2009 in Sports
It now appears that losing to the the Toronto Maple Leafs is a firing offense. Just ask Michel Therrien who was fired by the Penguins today.
This is not a new experience for Therrien, the 45-year-old now ex-coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. In fact, he may be feeling a bit of déjà vu right about now. After coaching the Montreal Canadiens for almost three years, Therrien was fired mid-season 2001-2002.
Shortly after being fired by Montréal, Therrien joined the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins AHL affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, where he coached for another two-and-a-half seasons.
Therrien was promoted to the big club mid-season 2005-2006, after the Penguins fired head coach Ed Olczyk. Now, a scant two-and-a-half years later, Therrien faces the same fate as Olczyk. See what I mean about déjà vu? Two-and-a-half years appears to be Mr. Therrien's current shelf life as a hockey coach.
Last season, Therrien lead the Penguins to the Stanley Cup finals, where they lost a six game series to the Detroit Red Wings. This season, the Penguins record to date is 27-25-5 and they sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, five points out of a playoff spot.
Last night, for the second time this season, the Penguins were embarrassed by the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs, by a score of 6-2 and that all but signaled the death knell for Therrien.
General manager Ray Shero announced the firing in a conference call today and also announced that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coach, Dan Bylsma, will be the Penguins "interim coach". Shero didn't mince words:
I didn't particularly like the direction the team was headed. I watched for a number of weeks, and at the end of the day the direction is not what I wanted to have happen here.
Shero went on to say that:
I really believe Dan Bylsma knows our organization and knows our players. I believe that's the right fit for right now, someone who knows our organization.
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