Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Pittsburgh Penguins are expected to introduce Mike Johnston as their new head coach.
It is scheduled to start at 12:30pm ET and you can watch it below...
added 12:37pm, Penguins press release on Mike Johnston is below the video...
The Pittsburgh Penguins are expected to introduce Mike Johnston as their new head coach at a news conference at Noon et/9am pt, according to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger.
Johnston has worked the last five seasons behind the bench with the WHL's Portland Winterhawks, leading them to a berth in the Memorial Cup tournament in 2013.
Prior to joining the Winterhawks in 2008, he worked with the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks as an associate coach.
from Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
He isn't anticipating the new coach will have the team's high profile, unrestricted free agents at his disposal.
Rutherford said on Monday that unrestricted free agents Matt Niskanen and Jussi Jokinen, in particular, will likely play elsewhere next season.
Niskanen and Jokinen increased their respective values by having excellent 2013-14 seasons.
“I've talked with them,” Rutherford said. “I think both players would like to return. But they're also coming off good years. It's time for them to hit free agency and get their big contracts. With that being said, we'll see what happens leading up to free agency.”
Rutherford declined to comment on defenseman Brooks Orpik, another unrestricted free agent.
Rutherford has said on numerous occasions that he'd like to have a coach in place when the free agency period opens on July 1. If that doesn't happen, dealing with players and agents could become problematic.
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Right now, it appears as if Rutherford, 2½ weeks into the job, doesn't have a clue what he's doing. Even worse, it looks as if everyone in the team's management has no clue.
It's stunning, the long, hard fall taken by the Penguins front office since it fired highly-regarded general manager Ray Shero May 16, sloppily dismissed coach Dan Bylsma three weeks later, hired Rutherford, a retread from the Carolina Hurricanes, and was turned down by its first choice to be the new coach. We are talking about an organization that had been regarded as the best in hockey, one of the best in sports. People wanted to work for Lemieux and co-owner Ron Burkle because they treated their employees with such class. Crosby took less money to stay here. Other players wanted to come here to play with Crosby and Evgeni Malkin because they believed it gave them their best chance to win a Cup.
Now the Penguins have to settle for Rutherford, who failed late in his long, distinguished career with the Hurricanes and was pushed aside for new general manager Ron Francis?
And Rutherford can't find a coach after reportedly being turned down Friday by Calder Cup-winning coach Willie Desjardins of the American Hockey League's Texas Stars?
People around hockey are laughing at the Penguins. It's as if the organization has become a joke.
added 8:32am, from Mark Madden of the Times Online,
Michael Farber examines the Penguins' controversial 1983-84 season in which the team may have tanked to land the No. 1 pick, which they used on Mario Lemieux.
Watch it below...
Tomorrow, finalists for the NHL Awards will be made available to the media from 2:30pm until 4:00pm ET. in Las Vegas.
Even though the atmosphere is much more relaxed than let's say a post-game dressing room plus all different types of media probably have been granted access, I don't think I would want to be in Sidney Crosby's shoes.
Assuming he will be in attendance, I am sure he will face a barrage of questions regarding the current state of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The hockey media types will want his opinion and will ask him the same type of questions but with different angles. The media who are in attendance for the event itself, well you don't know what type of questions Crosby will be asked and it could be a long 1 1/2 hours for Crosby.
At an event where everything usually has a positive vibe to it, it just may be the opposite for Crosby.
added 2:30pm, Just received an update, Crosby will not be at the media availability event tomorrow but will be at the Red Carpet event on Tuesday.
added 2:42pm, This may explain the reason why Crosby is not available (Babcock too) on Monday.
We will probably hear more like this but will we ever know the whole truth?
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
“The guy I had is going to go in a different direction,” general manager Jim Rutherford said Friday afternoon.
Rutherford had said Thursday the coaching search was “coming to an end” and that he decided on one of eight candidates to interview for the job.
Rutherford declined to identify his chosen candidate.
Team and league sources said Rutherford spent Thursday night and Friday morning meeting with Willie Desjardins, a minor-league coach with only two years of experience as an NHL assistant. Topics discussed included assistant coaches, contract length and Desjardin's possible salary, the sources said.
“We couldn't make it work,” Rutherford said, adding he will start another coaching search next week.
“I'm going to take the weekend to sort some things out,” Rutherford said.
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said Thursday he is “real close” to choosing the team's next head coach.
“The process is coming to an end,” said Rutherford, who has made a decision on one of eight candidates. “I'm still checking a few points with the lead candidate, but a decision is coming real soon.”
Rutherford declined to provide specifics regarding candidates or his choice. An announcement could be made within days provided details of a contract can be worked out.
Team and league sources said Rutherford's candidates included: former NHL coaches Ron Wilson and Marc Crawford; assistants Ulf Samuelsson (New York Rangers) and Bill Peters (Detroit); and Willie Desjardins, coach of Dallas' AHL affiliate.
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