The Penguins' personnel wish list, as laid out Friday by team president and CEO David Morehouse, is pretty predictable.

"We want to have a team that's hard to play against," Morehouse said. "We want to have a fast team. We want to have a tough team. We want to have a team with character."

So, he presumably is aware, do the other 29 NHL clubs.

The chances of actually assembling the kind of team co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, along with Morehouse, want will hinge in large part on whom they select to replace Ray Shero as general manager.

Shero, the Penguins' general manager since 2006, was fired Friday.

He has been replaced on an interim basis by assistant general manager Jason Botterill, who is, for the moment, the only publicly identified candidate to take over the job, long term.

Botterill, whose playing career was shortened by concussions, is a salary-cap specialist and one of the league's up-and-coming front-office stars.

He has been a candidate for several previous general manager openings around the NHL, and his body of work, which includes serving as general manager of the Penguins' minor league team in Wilkes-Barre, suggests he's ready to run a team at this level.

Botterill could not be reached for comment Friday.

Shero's replacement will have the authority and autonomy needed to make whatever personnel moves he deems necessary, Morehouse said, adding that Shero also did.

And while he didn't name any candidates except Botterill, Morehouse seemed certain there will be no shortage of applicants.

"We have a large group of people in mind," he said. "And we think that we'll get more people interested now that we've announced that we have an opening."

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