Another six-hour meeting between the NHL, NHLPA and federal mediators was held on Wednesday. Once again, no progress was made toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. This was the first time the two sides met with mediators since Nov. 28 and 29.
For head coaches like Dan Bylsma, frustration is starting to set in, but the Pittsburgh Penguins coach is trying to remain optimistic during these tough times. He’s been spending his time in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., watching the Penguins minor league team and scouting out his future prospects.
Dan Bylsma joined 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh with The Fan Morning Show to discuss staying busy during the NHL lockout, the frustration of waiting for news on the NHL lockout and AHL players being more prepared to play in the NHL if the lockout was to end.
Have you had enough with all this free time?
“I think I have seen more sporting events like baseball, basketball, football than I have in my first nine years of coaching in hockey, but I’ve been doing other things as well. I have enjoyed some good sporting events.”
Have you been paying attention to the NHL lockout news or do you just wait for the call that matters?
“It’s tough to not pay attention to the news. I typically would be scrolling the phone for scores or different updates during the season and now you feel like you punch the update button on your phone a little bit too often trying to see something about the news, but really just staying patient and try not to focus on the ins and outs and really. … I’m not much more than you are when it comes to knowing information about the situation.”
In your opinion, if the lockout ended soon would NHL coaches rather have AHL players who have been in game shape as opposed to professional players who are rusty?
“It’s a huge advantage for the players that have been playing than those players who haven’t been playing. … Also, for guys that are new to organizations, it’s going to be tough to step in and just step on the ice and know what’s expected of you. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are going to know what it means to be a Penguin and how we play and what’s expected. Guys like Tanner Glass are going to be new to our organization. It’s going to be a quick learning experience for them to get in shape and get on the ice and figure out what we are doing on the ice, so guys down in the AHL have a real advantage of stepping up and being in shape and also knowing exactly what to expect on the ice. So you’ll see numerous guys from the American Hockey League. You’ll see it in our organization and a guy like Simone Dupre, who’s had an outstanding month in Wilkes-Barre, step right in and be a big factor right away.”