When you are a new head coach, one of the first orders of business is getting to know your players and building a solid relationship with them. For new Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Johnston, that is exactly what he has been up to this offseason.
In an interview with Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Johnston revealed that he will be flying to Russia to meet with one of the team’s star players, Evgeni Malking.
The meeting will not just be focused on hockey either, with Johnston looking to get to know Malkin before the team begins their full preparation for the upcoming season.
“I want to talk with Geno (Evgeni Malkin). I want to get to know him,” Johnston said. “I think it’s a good thing for a player who he gets to meet his new coach on his home turf. I think it will be comfortable for Geno. It’s a chance for me to meet him, and for us to talk, and I think it’s important. When training camp comes, you don’t really get too much time to talk.”
It is great to see Johnston going to such lengths to get to know his players and it is something that they will all surely appreciate.
The hope will be for Johnston to get familiar with his star players before they set out to return to the postseason and get back to the Stanley Cup Finals.