Penguins award Bylsma with extension

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 12:10 PM ET

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday signed head coach Dan Bylsma to a three-year contract extension through the 2013-14 season.

Bylsma, 40, has kept the Penguins near the top of the Eastern Conference standings despite playing much of the new year with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin out of the lineup.

"Dan has very quickly established himself as one of the best coaches in the National Hockey League," general manager Ray Shero said. "He has been a perfect fit for our organization since day one, and we look forward to having him leading our team for the next three seasons."

Bylsma was named interim head coach on February 15, 2009, replacing Michel Therrien. The interim tag was removed as the Penguins went on to beat Detroit in the Stanley Cup Finals.

This season, Bylsma has guided Pittsburgh to a 39-21-8 record. With 86 points, the Penguins entered Wednesday just two behind Philadelphia for the top spot in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, which is even more impressive considering the litany of injuries to the club's key performers.

Crosby hasn't played since January 5 because of a concussion, while Malkin underwent season-ending knee surgery in February. Jordan Staal also missed the first 39 games of the season with foot and hand injuries and Mike Comrie is out long-term after hip surgery.

Overall, Bylsma has a record of 104-52-19 since being promoted from the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He also served in assistant roles with the New York Islanders and the AHL's Cincinnati Mighty Ducks after retiring from the NHL as a player in 2004.

In nine NHL seasons, Bylsma played 429 games with Los Angeles and Anaheim and recorded 19 goals and 62 points.


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