Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford has “reached out to a couple of guys” that were not on his original list of candidates to become Pittsburgh’s new head coach.
Calling them “very good candidates” in an interview with the Post-Gazette, Rutherford understands that fans have become impatient with a process they were led to believe last week was close to ending.
“I guess people get anxious,” said Rutherford. “They want news sooner.”
It’s believed the Penguins wanted to hire Willie Desjardins to replace Dan Bylsma; however, Desjardins chose Vancouver instead.
One possible candidate for Rutherford is Mike Johnston. The Portland Winterhawks (WHL) coach interviewed for the Canucks’ job, and might have been John Tortorella’s replacement in Vancouver if not for the availability of Desjardins.
“He has done an excellent job the last five years with Portland,” Canucks GM Jim Benning said a short time ago. “They play an up-tempo, skilled game…. He coaches the style we want our team to play.”