Report: Pens’ GM Rutherford has New Candidate for Coach


Apr 26, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (left) talks to defenseman Paul Martin (right) before a face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period in game five of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Still without a coach, Pittsburgh Penguins’ general manager Jim Rutherford continues his search for Dan Bylsma’s replacement.

Although there’s been a few names still on his list in the running, apparently, Rutherford has focused on a new candidate of late.

According to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Rutherford has reportedly added a new person into the mix for his team’s head coaching vacancy, however, did not say who.

Rossi did report that Rutherford interviewed Portland Winterhawks’ coach Mike Johnston though. The ‘Hawks are in the Western Hockey League (WHL), and Johnston has had major success with them as both GM and coach. Johnston’s ‘Hawks have made the WHL postseason in three-out-of-four seasons and coached the Pens’ top prospect Derrick Pouliot.

Here’s what Rutherford said, per Rossi:

"“My concentration right now is on a guy that would have been on my original list, but I was told he had a commitment.”"

Again, Johnston is not confirmed to be the man he’s talking about, but he’s speculated to be him. Johnston also interviewed with Vancouver before the organization gave Willie Desjardins the job, per Rossi.

Rutherford is adamant about adding a new coach by Jul. 1, the start of free agency.