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Portland coach Johnston talks to Canucks: report @NHLdotcom

Portland Winterhawks coach Mike Johnston has interviewed to become coach of the Vancouver Canucks, general manager Jim Benning said Friday, according to the Vancouver Sun.

"He has done an excellent job the last five years with Portland," Benning told Team 1040 Radio. "They play an up-tempo, skilled game and he has a history with the Canucks and the organization, so he understands the market. He is going to be a candidate. ... He coaches the style we want our team to play. The interview went well."

Johnston was an assistant under Marc Crawford with the Canucks.

The Sun said Crawford also is "in the mix" to replace John Tortorella, who was fired after one season.

Benning said he will interview up to eight candidates. The newspaper speculates Los Angeles Kings assistant John Stevens and Texas Stars coach Willie Desjardins will be among them.

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