A Pittsburgh Penguins Dinner Party for two, please

1990-1991: Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Bob Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport
1990-1991: Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Bob Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport /

The Pittsburgh Penguins have had some notable characters come through over the years. If you could choose just one manager to have dinner with, who would you want, and why?

In looking at the past and present managerial personalities for the Pittsburgh Penguins, you could see several options where you could have a night on the town, a classy night in, and maybe even get in a little too much trouble. So, I guess it would depend on what type of night you wanted to have.

Some key names jump off the map when thinking about who you would want to spend the evening with such as, the current Pens manager Mike Sullivan, the man with 9 rings, Scotty Bowman, or the legendary Badger Bob Johnson. Either one of these men would be a fun night out but to have the chance to pick the Badger’s brain for a few hours, now that would be exceptional.

Bob Johnson only coached the Pens for one season before becoming ill and eventually passing away only a few months after his team won the 1991 Stanley Cup. But in that one season, he essentially changed the way the Penguins played the game on and off the ice for years to come to include the following season when they won back to back Cups.

Johnson’s always quirky optimism would surely light up the evening as he always had before. He would be an open book as well with plenty of fun pages to highlight. From his time in the Korean War to his times coaching college, national teams, and eventually the NHL you might need more than just a few hours to cover all the topics of his life.

He was everything you would want to have as your manager and I would imagine that sharing an evening would bring up more than what has already been known about the Badger. Sullivan and Scotty would be fun, but digging into the mind of the Badger on why he did what he did and how he feels about his tactics changing the course of the Pens forever would be worth every penny.

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For me choosing him was simple, he changed the city of Pittsburgh in just one season for eternity and there’s no telling what kind of life lessons he would give over a cocktail and dinner. It would be a dream of a lifetime for sure and it would all be worth it just to hear him say once more, “it’s a great day for hockey.”