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Pens Closing In On Assistant Coach Candidates

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From Super Genius Mark Madden and the Faceoff Factor, the Penguins' search to replace the assistant coach position vacated by Mike Yeo is in high gear.

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The interviewees include three men with Pittsburgh connections; Mike Ramsey played for the team in 1992-93, Barry Smith was an assistant coach in Pittsburgh from 1990-92, and Darryl Sydor is a recent NHL retiree looking to get into coaching.

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Of them all, Smith is definitely the most impressive candidate on paper; he’s spent over 20 years as an NHL coach and has five Stanley Cup rings between his time in Pittsburgh and Detroit. That experience, especially for a young head coach in Dan Bylsma and a generally young Penguins team, could be invaluable. Smith is currently the head coach for SKA St. Petersburg in Russia’s Kontinential Hockey League.

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Sydor, 38, played with the Pens in parts of two seasons from 2007-08 to 2008-09, and therefore is familiar with the personnel of the roster.  (He was gone before Bylsma was installed as head coach, so there’s no connection there.)  Also, the position is probably going to require being in charge of defensemen, an area in which Sydor, who was an NHL defenseman last season, might excel.

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No announcement seems imminent, as the team takes its time to interview candidates and make up its mind.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.