Atlantic Division: Fitzgerald’s guidance will be invaluable for Penguins

Fitzgerald in his Bruins days.

Fitzgerald in his Bruins days.

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.

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