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01-30-2012, 10:19 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
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Eddie Johnston, Coach

Johnston coached a very respectable 596 NHL games, and had a win% of .513. He also coached a respectable 53 playoff games, with a 25-28 record, both GP and Wins marks are likely highs among available coaches. His relative playoff success makes him a nice match with Andy Murray, whom playoff success eluded.

Johnston earned a 4th in 1995 Adams voting, for keeping the team competitive in the 1995 season while Mario Lemieux rested his aching body (they were 3rd overall)

Originally Posted by
The Pittsburgh Penguins relieved Johnston of his head coaching duties on Monday, March 3, with the club having lost four straight games and eight of its last nine. The Penguins, who were once living the good life at the top of the Northeast Division, have now fallen nine points behind Buffalo for the division lead and are showing no signs of stopping their fall from grace. GM Craig Patrick will take over behind the bench for the remainder of the season. It will be Patrick's second tour of duty as Pittsburgh's coach. When he first came to the Penguins in 1989-90, Patrick handled the roles of both coach and GM for the remainder of the season while he became familiar with the personnel. There has been no talk of bringing in someone from the outside to fill the job. That is a decision that will be made during the off-season.

Johnston, 61, originally coached the Penguins from 1980-1983, before then becoming the club's GM through 1988. After spending one more year as an assistant GM in Pittsburgh, Johnston moved on to become the Vice President and GM of the Hartford Whalers from 1989-1992. Once cut loose from the Whale, EJ returned to coach the Penguins at the start of the 1993-94 season. He had an overall record of 153-98-25 during his second stint with the club and improved in the playoffs after each season, losing in seven games to the Florida Panthers during last year's playoffs.

The announcement came as a total shock. There were no rumors of an impending move and Johnston has always been a popular coach with the players, especially Mario Lemieux. Johnston and Patrick are also very close friends, so the decision to make a change was one of the hardest in the GM's career.

...One of the nicest guys in the game of hockey, Johnston was often criticized for being just that. He was perceived by many to be too much of a player's coach, not willing or able to drop the hammer on the boys when things went sour.... However, blaming EJ for the Penguins' current struggles is absolutely ridiculous. This move isn't really a result of anything EJ did or didn't do.... And really, injuries are what cost EJ his job. If Lemieux, Francis, and Jagr were all healthy, they'd still be dominating with ease and the team would still be winning hockey games. ...The Johnston firing has set off a wide-spread panic around the city, with many questioning whether or not this team can compete in the playoffs. ...

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