PSR ANYTIME. ANYWHERE. Introducing the Pittsburgh Sports Report eMagazine. Click to read and watch the best sports coverage in the region.
Monday August 31 2015
Leave this field empty.

Up Close with Dan Bylsma

PSR Logo
PSR’s Penguins beat writer Alex Nseir was at Consol Energy Center after the NHL Draft when Penguins’ head coach Dan Bylsma addressed the media. Bylsma talked about the changes in the Penguins’ personnel and what it means for his team.

Q: Is it fair to compare Brandon Sutter to Jordan Staal?
Bylsma:
No, that’s not the point. I think for our team, with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, solidifying a guy to play (third-line center) on our team is a really important part of the trade for us. He’s going to have an extremely important role on our team. Defensively, faceoff wise, penalty killing will be a big part of what he brings to our team, but also the character and the work ethic and the grit he brings to the game. The way he plays the game at both ends of the rink is a really big part for us.

Q: Had Jordan outgrown his role in Pittsburgh?
Bylsma:
That’s fair to say.

Q: How would you compare Brandon Sutter to some of the previous generations of Sutters, in terms of grit?
Bylsma:
I played with Ron Sutter. I’ve spoken with Ron twice yesterday and today and I think he’s got a lot of Ron in his game… What comes to mind are faceoffs and grit when I see the Sutters and I see that in this guy. Penalty killing, shot blocking, doing what it takes to win, being hard to play against – you see that in this younger version of the Sutters.

Q: Can you talk about the Penguins’ defensive situation after the Michalek trade yesterday?
Bylsma:
Obviously with Michalek going, (we’re losing) a very good player, a good defender, a very good penalty killer, and that’s something that we lost by getting rid of Z. At the same time there are still a lot of decisions and a lot of players back in the back-end for our team. There is an emergence of some guys we’ve drafted in Brian Strait and Robert Bortuzzo. I think with Simon Despres as a first-rounder a couple of years ago, he’s played some games, played some big games against some good competition. He’s a big-bodied guy that can do a lot of different things. Certainly he can add offensively, but I think he’s going to be a good defender in this league as well…

It’s not like we’re thin on the back-end. Between this year’s draft and last year’s draft, Joe Morrow, Scott Harrington are outstanding players. We’re talking about four guys right there with Pouliot and Maatta and Harrington and Morrow that may make up down the road one of the best defensive corps in the league.

Q: Which guys in the system need to step up now in the absence of Staal?
Bylsma:
That’s Ray Shero’s department and we didn’t talk about it. I think, like we said, there wasn’t a replacement for Jordan Staal. We don’t really review Brendan as a replacement for Jordan Staal. Not having Staal on our team, there’s a void on the center position and we don’t have that in our organization. We felt like we needed to address that in a trade… He’s not the same guy, we’re not asking him to be the same guy, but he is definitely, I think, a very good person in that role.

Q: Can you talk about the acquisition of Tomas Vokoun?
Bylsma:
We’re really happy about getting Tomas getting into our team. We think we have the best goaltending tandem in the league right now. Marc-Andre Fleury has been a stalwart… But we feel like adding Vokoun to that mix really gives us the two best goalie tandem in the league. It will be a situation where Marc-Andre Fleury won’t be playing as many games as he has in the past for our team, and we feel real confident that any night, any game, any building, any team, we’ve got two goalies that can really go in there and win us hockey games.

Share
The Steelers started the offseason by signing franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a significant contact extension. A day before training camp opened, they capped the offseason by extending the contract of general manger Kevin Colbert.
Editor's DeskFeature One
In 2012, the leading rusher for the Pittsburgh Steelers was Jonathan Dwyer. His 623 yards was the second-lowest total for the team's leading rusher in a full season since Dick Hoak's 531 yards led the way in 1969.
Feature TwoPure Steel
Todd Haley is entering his fourth season as the Steelers' offensive coordinator. After a bumpy start to his tenure in Pittsburgh, Haley directed one of the most explosive offenses in team history in 2014.
Feature ThreePure Steel
Time moves faster in the NFL. Players seem to age more rapidly and rosters turn over more quickly than in any other sport. Nowhere else is this more evident than the Steelers defense, where nine of 2011’s opening day starters are no longer with the team.
Feature FourPure Steel
PSR VIDEO
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Steelers TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3PSR Video PiratesPirates TV Channel
Pitt football’s forgettable Paul Chryst era ended at 19-20 when the Madison native returned to Wisconsin to coach the Badgers, leaving the program in the same state of mediocrity in which he found it.
Custom 1Pitt Football
On the heels of a dismal 4-8 season in 2013—and seated firmly upon the hotseat—head coach Dana Holgorsen was able to steer the West Virginia football program back in the right direction in 2014.
Custom 2WVU
In western Pennsylvania, football is the sport that the natives follow most closely, and with two major programs, Pitt and Penn State, most of the attention is divided among the two of them.
Custom 3Small CollegesTop Story
Stepping into Beaver Stadium sporting traditional, nameless navy blue and white jerseys, Penn State football intends to chase a championship under second-year head coach James Franklin.
Custom 4Penn State