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Penguins name Bylsma head coach

Dan Bylsma has been named head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, it was announced Monday by Pittsburgh Penguins assistant general manager Chuck Fletcher.

Bylsma becomes the fifth head coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton history and takes over for Todd Richards, who accepted a position as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks last month. Bylsma, 37, spent the past two seasons as an assistant with the Penguins.

“Dan is one of the brightest young coaches in the American Hockey League, and is more than ready to take on the role of guiding the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins,” said Fletcher.  “He has already helped in the development of several players who have made an impact in Pittsburgh, and his two years behind the bench in Wilkes-Barre give him a unique knowledge of our top prospects.”

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to continue my coaching career with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins,” said Bylsma. “It’s been a goal of mine to become a head coach in the American Hockey League, and I can’t think of a better place to have that goal come to fruition.”

Prior to joining the Penguins in the summer of 2006, Bylsma served as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (2004-05) and the NHL’s New York Islanders (2005-06). 

Selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the sixth round (109th overall) of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, the native of Grand Haven, Mich., went on to appear in 429 NHL games with the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks during a 12-year playing career. Bylsma cracked the NHL with the Kings in 1995-96, and appeared in 220 games with Los Angeles in parts of five seasons. He joined the Ducks prior to the 2000-01 season, and was a member of the club that advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2003.

Bylsma also played 95 AHL games with Cincinnati, Lowell, Springfield, Albany, Moncton and Rochester, and reached the Calder Cup Finals in 1994. He retired from playing following the 2003-04 season.

Bylsma is married to Mary Beth and has a son, Bryan (9).