The Pittsburgh Penguins fired head coach Dan Bylsma, Executive Vice President and General Manager Jim Rutherford announced today.

A Grand Haven native, Bylsma had coached the Penguins for five-plus seasons, compiling a record of 252-117-32 and leading the team to the Stanley Cup title in 2009.

In a statement, Rutherford said:

Dan is a good man and a good coach, but I thought we needed a change in direction moving forward. I have no doubt that he will go on to be a head coach in the National Hockey League and have success. The search for our new head coach will begin immediately.”

Co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said, in a joint statement:

We want to thank Dan for everything he has done for the Penguins organization. He’ll always be remembered as a big part of Pittsburgh sports history for his role in our Stanley Cup championship in 2009. We wish all the best to him and his family.”

Bylsma had also coached the U.S. Men's National Team at the Sochi Winter Olympics. The 42-year-old is a Bowling Green State University grad who played for the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks during his nine-year NHL career.

Assistant coaches Tony Granato, Todd Reirden and Jacques Martin, goaltending coach Mike Bales and video coordinator Andy Saucier will be evaluated by Rutherford and the incoming head coach. Rutherford, who was just named GM today by the Penguins, will evaluate the remainder of the hockey operations staff.

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