Maple Leafs Job Fair – Dan Bylsma’s Resume

Bylsma, you ready? Good, ’cause you’re up next in our series of very real and not at all fake coaching resumes. 

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Dan Bylsma

I am a Stanley Cup winning head coach and would also not like to live in Newark, New Jersey.

Work Experience

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Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins (2009-2014)

Won a Stanley Cup just 49 games into my NHL head coaching career, then continued to not miss the playoffs for the next five seasons. I like to think I had a big role in shaping Sidney Crosby into the superstar that he is today. Same goes for Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang and Marc-Ahhh-nevermind, just the other guys I mentioned.

Head Coach of Team USA at the Olympic Winter Games (2014)

Lead the nation’s best against Canada in the semifinals (and got shutout), then against Finland in the bronze medal game (and got shut out). Not the result we were looking for, but still a cherished moment in my career.

Head Coach of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (2008-2009) and Assistant Coach (2006-2008)

I have extensive experience in working with AHL-caliber players, so I should fit in just fine with the current Leafs’ roster. Was part of three straight playoff berths for the Baby Pens, including a trip to the 2008 Calder Cup Finals (losing to the Chicago Wolves). Helped develop top prospects such as, uh, Luca Caputi?

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Assistant Coach of the New York Islanders (2005-2006)

Coached a healthy Rick DiPietro. How many coaches can say that?

Assistant Coach of the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (2004-2005)

I’d say I’m at least partially responsible for all of the good things that Joffrey Lupul does. I coached him in Cincinnati.


  • Coached only 49 NHL games before winning my first Stanley Cup
  • Fastest Head Coach to Reach 200 and 250 NHL Wins
  • Jack Adams Award Winner, 2011
  • Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, 2006

Personal Interests

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  • Not Coaching the New Jersey Devils
  • Living in a place that is not Newark, New Jersey
  • Disco Music and Dancing

Hiring Manager’s Notes

Dan Bylsma has been out of a job for a full year now, but his track record is solid enough that we can overlook a little rust. As fellow hiring manager Shawn Reis pointed out earlier today, Bylsma has coached consistently good puck possession teams. Sure, it helps a bit (a lot) when you’re sending Crosby & Co. over the boards, but at least Bylsma implemented a system that worked for them. 

It’s not fair to say that Bylsma won’t be able to replicate the success without the horses in Toronto – in that case, you’d have to say that no “good coach” is suitable for the Leafs, and that’s just ridiculous. After Mike Babcock, Bylsma represents a second tier of capable candidates along with Todd McLellan. We should keep this resume close.

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    • silentbob

      I don’t think “how good they are with young players” should be much of a concern for the Leafs. I think they need to find a coach who is on the same page as management in terms of evaluating players (ie – the fancy stats), who believes in same style of hockey as Shanahan and co. (I’m not sure what that is yet), who has shown an ability to coach that style of hockey effective etc… and most importantly who will be here a long time.

      The Marlies is the place for our young players to learn and develop. I don’t want to see 19 and 20 year old’s who still need a couple years of development playing with the Leafs. This is one area we should absolutely mimic the Red Wings, and only promote players once they are ready and able to be NHL players.

      • I think this is a really great comment. We’ve been talking a lot about coaches and how they might fit a developing team or whatever, but the amount of development left for the players once they hit the NHL level is likely going to be minimal if things go according to the plans from Dubas, Hunter, etc.

        The team might be bad next season, but if so, it should probably be bad with a roster of inexpensive not-so-great NHL players, not unripened prospects.

        • silentbob

          Thank you, and I HOPE Shanahan and Dubas and Hunter and co. are on the same page we are in this regard.

          I’ve used this example before, I’d happily wait another 2 or 3 or 4 years to see Nylander with the Leafs if that’s how long it takes for him to get the point where he can join the Leafs and have a rookie season like Nyquist had last year. Nyquist didn’t look like a young player who would be an NHL players one day, he looked like a really good NHL player.

          That’s what “ready” should mean to this franchise. While it might be a little hard to wait for that now in regards to Nylander and Brown and Percy and Strome etc… but in 5 years or 10 years when (ideally/hopefully) the team is good and needs young players to step up and contribute in meaningful ways that culture we/they establish now will be a huge positive for the team.

  • silentbob

    I personally met Disco Dan at the world juniors this past winter and he took the time to talk to me and my family which meant a lot to us. Seemed like a really genuine guy that would probably do well with the media and fans here in Toronto. Would love to see him come here.