Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: mike johnston
from Micholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
He coached in world juniors, world championships and an Olympics. He became associate coach for two NHL teams, the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings, and head coach and general manager of a major junior team, the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks.
Now, after 35 years of work, at 57 years of age, he has his first NHL head coaching job. He is coaching Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
“People say, ‘Well, you finally got to where you wanted to go,’ ” said Johnston this week in his office at Consol Energy Center. “I never, ever really viewed it that way.”
Johnston did have NHL ambitions, of course. Early in his career, he wrote letters to NHL teams. He received one response, from Canucks GM Pat Quinn, who didn’t offer anything but encouragement. Quinn said he would keep his name in mind.
But Johnston said realistically his ambitions were always smaller – to succeed where he was and climb the next rung on the ladder. It wasn’t until he joined the Canadian national team that he really thought about coaching in the NHL.
Not to tie together the narrative too neatly, but Johnston will take the same approach with the Penguins when training camp opens Sept. 19. Enjoy the journey. Focus on the process. Prepare, so when the big time comes, you’re ready.
from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Johnston talked with Crosby in Pittsburgh, and then again in Nova Scotia — Johnston is from Dartmouth, Crosby from Cole Harbour — and was impressed with how Crosby handles himself off the ice.
“Look, if you want to have a leader in sports, the first thing I think the leader has to do is set an example,” Johnston said. “He sets a great example.
“You don't ever question his work ethic. You don't ever question his commitment. For a guy his age coming into the NHL and carrying the load that he's carried, I believe he's done a phenomenal job.
“Do we have to lessen the load? Yes.”
Johnston pointed to the importance of veteran leaders such as forwards Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis and Craig Adams, as well as defenseman Paul Martin.
Another key part will be letting fellow franchise center Evgeni Malkin and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury be themselves.
“We just have to lean on those guys' ability to lead,” Johnston said. “And the guys with the Fleury- and Malkin-type energy and humor, let them balance the group out a little bit.”
I've never been one to focus on pressure. Pressure, for me, comes when I don't feel like I'm doing a good job — just like a player. Trust me, I will put more pressure on myself than anyone else ever will. No offense, but I don't really read the papers much. I trust my staff and the people I'm close with. You have to be true to yourself, true to your instincts. Just be who you are. That's what I'll do. I'm very excited about this.
-Mike Johnston, head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins on dealing with pressure. Read more from Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review who did a Q & A with Johnston.
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.