UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Penguins have fired coach Michel Therrien and replaced him with Dan Bylsma, coach of their farm team in Wilkes-Barre, on an interim basis.
Bylsma, a first-year head coach in the American Hockey League, will make his NHL debut when the Penguins face the New York Islanders Monday at 2:08 p.m. at Nassau Coliseum.
Tom Fitzgerald, who has had a player-development job for the Penguins, will join the coaching staff as an assistant. Assistant coach Andre Savard has been reassigned, while assistants Mike Yeo and Gilles Meloche will retain their current positions.
"We believe we need a change in direction and, with 25 games remaining in the regular season, our goal remains to finish strong and qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs," general manager Ray Shero said in a prepared statement. "Dan Bylsma is one of the bright young coaches in the game and has done an exceptional job as the head coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season.
"We also would like to thank Michel Therrien for his significant contributions to the Penguins organization."
The Baby Penguins are 35-16-1-2 under Bylsma, who joined the Penguins organization as an assistant to Todd Richards in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2006-07.
Dave Molinari can be reached at DWMolinari@Yahoo.com .