| Notes: Dan Bylsma was named head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 15, 2009.|
Bylsma, 38, had been serving as head coach of the team’s American Hockey League affliliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where he posted a 35-16-1-2 record in 54 games.
He was an assistant coach at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for two seasons from 2006-08.
“Dan Bylsma is one of the bright young coaches in the game and did an exceptional job for us in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before getting this opportunity in Pittsburgh,” said Ray Shero, the Penguins’ executive vice president and general manager.
Bylsma (pronounced BILES-mah) played nine NHL seasons as a right winger with Los Angeles and Anaheim from 1995-2004. A role player who excelled at killing penalties and blocking shots, he played 429 NHL regular-season games and also played in the 2003 Stanley Cup Final with Anaheim. He retired as a player following the 2003-04 season.
The native of Grand Haven, Mich. began his coaching career as an assistant with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the AHL in 2004-05. He made his NHL coaching debut as an assistant with the New York Islanders in 2005-06.
Bylsma joined the Penguins organization as an assistant to Todd Richards in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2006-07. In two seasons, the Richards-Bylsma coaching tandem led WB/S to a 98-49-5-8 record. The Baby Penguins won the AHL East Division and Eastern Conference championships in 2007-08 and advanced to the Calder Cup Final.
When Richards accepted the job as an assistant coach with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks in the off-season, Bylsma was elevated to head coach at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Bylsma was an outstanding athlete at West Michigan Christian High School, winning a state individual golf championship and starting in left field on a state championship baseball team. He played Junior B hockey for St. Mary’s of the Ontario Hockey Association before playing four years of college hockey at Bowling Green.
He was twice selected to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) All-Academic Team.
Dan and his father, Jay, also have written four books about sports for kids and families, including “So Your Son Wants to Play in the NHL” and “So You Want to Play in the NHL.”
Dan has operated Dan Bylsma’s Western Michigan Hockey Camp for the past 14 years. He also established the Dan Bylsma Charitable Trust Fund, which provides a means to assist children with the high cost of participating in youth sports, especially hockey.
Dan’s wife, Mary Beth, was an all-conference gymnast at Bowling Green and is a certified personal trainer. They have one son and reside in Grand Haven, Mich. in the off-season.
Penguins Record - 18-3-4
2008-09 Playoff Record - 12-6-0