May 1, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; General view as fans arrive for game one of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins hire Mike Johnston as head coach

The Pittsburgh Penguins have finally named their new head coach. After some rumors began to circulate early Wednesday morning, the team has confirmed that Mike Johnston will be their new bench boss.

“Mike comes to Pittsburgh with great experience at all levels of hockey,” Penguins vice president/general manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement, via

“He has terrific knowledge of the game and proven leadership ability. His coaching style is going to be a good for the players we have here with the Penguins — it’s an up-tempo style, but it begins from deep in the defensive zone. We’re very excited to have him.”

Johnston was previously head coach and general manager of the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League. He has had that role with the team since 2008-09.

During his time with the Winterhawks, Johnston racked up a record of  224-116-11-10.

“As a career coach, you aspire to get to these positions,” Johnston said. “It’s been my goal. It’s been my dream.”

Along with his experience in the Western Hockey League, Johnston served as an assistant for the Los Angeles Kings and the Vancouver Canucks. He will now look to help the Penguins achieve their potential in his first year as a NHL head coach.

Rick Tocchet will also join the Penguins coaching staff as an assistant coach.

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins

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