Former Penguins coach Bylsma takes over in Buffalo

Reuters News
Posted: May 28, 2015 4:27 PM

(Reuters) - Former Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma was appointed head coach of the struggling Buffalo Sabres, the National Hockey League team said on Thursday

Bylsma, 44, joins the Sabres after spending six seasons in Pittsburgh where he led the Penguins to the 2009 Stanley Cup and an impressive regular season record of 252-117-32.

His career record gives him the best points percentage (.668) of any head coach in the NHL who has worked in that role for at least three full seasons.

Pittsburgh qualified for the playoffs in all six seasons under Bylsma's leadership, winning two division titles and posting the best record in the Eastern Conference in 2012-13.

He was fired as Penguins coach after the 2013-14 season.

Bylsma faces a big challenge with the Sabres who ended their 2014-15 campaign stone-last in the 30-team National Hockey League with a dismal 23-51-8 record.

Buffalo had been among a handful of teams who expressed interest earlier this month in hiring Mike Babcock before he left the Detroit Red Wings to become head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)