PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins ended their nearly three weeks without a coach by appointing former Portland Winterhawks coach Mike Johnston to the position Wednesday.
Johnston, whose NHL experience comes from his time as assistant/associate coach of the Vancouver Canucks from 1999-2006 and associate coach of the Los Angeles Kings from 2006-08, had been coach and general manager of the Western Hockey League's Winterhawks for the past six seasons.
Johnston replaces Dan Bylsma, who was fired June 6.
"As a career coach, you aspire to get to these positions," Johnston said. "And certainly I've been in the National Hockey League before as an associate coach, but to coach at this level is something I've aspired to do. It's been my goal, it's been my dream and I'm really thrilled to be standing here today.
"When I first started coaching, I coached in a small college in Alberta and four years into my job, I sent a letter to several NHL general managers and I said, 'I've been coaching for four years now … and I'm ready to coach in the NHL.' Just keep it in mind."