Penguins to hire Johnston - 06-25-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The Penguins search for a new head coach has come to an end.

The team has agreed to hire Mike Johnston (right), formerly the head coach and general manager of the Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks.

His contract is believed to be for three seasons.

Johnston, 57, spent parts of six seasons as Portland's head coach and reached the league final three times.

He was suspended for much of the 2012-13 season while the team was fined $200,000 and stripped of some draft picks after Portland had provided benefits to players and their families that violated WHL rules. The team won the league title that season.

Here is a Portland-area television station's report on Johnston and his success with the Winterhawks:


Before joining Portland, Johnston spent time with the Canucks and Kings as an assistant coach. In Vancouver, he worked for head coach Marc Crawford from 1999 until 2006. He followed Crawford two two seasons in Los Angeles from 2006 until 2008.

Johnston has spent time working for Hockey Canada in various capacities as well. He was an assistant coach for the 1998 Olympic team.

The Penguins will hold a press conference at 12:30 p.m. to introduce Johnston. He replaces Dan Bylsma who was fired earlier this month.

-EN Says: We can't say we know a lot about Johnston or his time with Portland.

His general philosophy on hockey seems to pretty aggressive

The biggest question we have about him is his time with Crawford. Is he a Crawford clone? Crawford, who was never confused with being a players' coach.

Hopefully we'll have more answers for this blog after his press conference.

(Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

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