Penguins introduce head coach Mike Johnston: 'I'm more inclined to play a pace game'
The Pittsburgh Penguins made their decision to hire Mike Johnston as their head coach official on Wednesday afternoon, introducing both Johnston and assistant coach Rick Tocchet.
Johnston opened with, "I'm thrilled and excited to be here in Pittsburgh with the Penguins organization. As a career coach you aspire to get to this position... It's been my goal, it's been my dream."
As a first-time head coach in the NHL, Johnston explained not much would change from his strategies with the WHL's Portland Winterhawks, "If anybody knows about Portland and how we played, that's how we're going to play."
He elaborated for the uninitiated:
My basic framework of the system is puck possession, puck management, tempo and pace. You want your players to have options in the game. Our defensive habits will be engrained. I'm more inclined with teams over the years to play a pace game.
The Penguins announced the hiring of Tocchet as an assistant coach moments before the press conference. Johnston had a few requests when it came to his assistant.
"It's very important to have a player on your staff, but you want someone who has been a coach," Johnston said. "He'll be a great, invaluable resource."
Johnston noted as the days pass he will meet with Tocchet to assemble the rest of the coaching staff.