“We share the disappointment of our fans that we have not had success in the playoffs over the past five seasons,” said team co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle. “We believe that new leadership in the general manager’s office will bring a new approach and new energy, and help us return to championship form.”
Shero had been general manager of the club for eight seasons and was instrumental in building the 2009 Stanley Cup team around superstars Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. However, the Shero failed to create the dynasty franchise that management was hoping for. Despite being aggressive with trade-deadline acquisitions in recent years, which have included Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray, the team has gone 4-5 in playoff series’ since winning the Cup in 2009.
The team also failed to retain many of those top players and lure significant talent to the city to play alongside Crosby and Malkin. Marian Hossa, who was a trade deadline acquisition in 2008, decided to leave Pittsburgh and sign with the Detroit Red Wings instead. Jarome Iginla, who approved his trade to Pittsburgh last season, decided to sign with the Boston Bruins last summer rather than re-sign with the Penguins.
The move came as a surprise after the loss, especially when captain Sidney Crosby was serving as a scapegoat for much of the team’s lack of success this postseason. After winning the Rocket Richard Trophy with 104 points – his fifth 100+ point season – Crosby only managed one goal in 13 games.
“At the end of the day, we feel responsible,” Crosby said. “We are the guys that go out there and want to perform and want to win and we have that expectation.”
No decision has been made on the future of coach Dan Bylsma, who will stay with the team until Shero’s replacement has had an opportunity to evaluate the organization and determine if a coaching change is in order.