As you already know, the big news in Pittsburgh earlier this week was Michel Therrien getting fired as head coach and being replaced by Dan Bylsma on an interim basis. But a little under the radar was the addition of former NHL forward Tom Fitzgerald as an interim assistant coach. Fitzgerald previously only held the title of Director of Player Development.
A veteran of more than 1,000 NHL games, Fitzgerald — a native of nearby Billerica, Mass. — spent the last season of his career with the Boston Bruins in 2006-07. In his column today for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Mike Prisuta writes that Bylsma plans to lean heavily on Fitzgerald for assistance down the stretch.
MK: There’s no doubt Fitzgerald will thrive in this role and I doubt he’ll want to go back into the front office after getting back on the ice like this. During his Boston season, Fitzgerald expressed a desire to be a coach someday numerous times, often citing the influences of his former coaches Roger Nielsen and Pat Quinn and explaining how he wanted to follow in those mentors’ footsteps.