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Old 12-15-2005, 12:20 PM   #1
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Default Pens fire Olczyk, hire Therrien

PITTSBURGH -- Eddie Olczyk was fired Thursday as the coach of the fast-fading Pittsburgh Penguins following one of the most disappointing starts in franchise history and replaced by former Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien.

Olczyk, a former team broadcaster and player who had no coaching experience at any level before being hired in 2003, was let go following a run of eight losses in nine games that dropped the Penguins' record to an Eastern Conference-worst 8-17-6.

Only St. Louis (6-17-4) has fewer wins in the NHL, and general manager Craig Patrick decided to fire Olczyk after a string of dismally played losses in the last week.

Patrick said it became obvious during a 5-0 loss to Minnesota last Thursday that the players were tuning Olczyk out and no longer respected him, and the situation got only worse during losses to Detroit (3-1) on Monday and St. Louis (3-0) on Tuesday.

"The Minnesota loss was very disturbing -- the team had shown its face and for whatever reason they weren't listening," Patrick said.

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