Mike Johnston

Pens hire Mike Johnston as coach, sign him to three-year deal


Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has found his man to lead the team.

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie, the Penguins have tabbed Portland Winterhawks coach Mike Johnston to be the new coach of the Penguins. Dreger adds that they’ve signed him to a three-year contract and will be introduced at noon by the team.

Update (12:30 p.m. ET): The Penguins made it official.

After missing out on Willie Desjardins and Bill Peters, Rutherford lands Johnston who comes with a fair bit of experience although most of it of late has come at the junior level in the WHL.

Johnston has been coach of the Winterhawks for the past six seasons and has brought them to the WHL Final four times, winning once and taking them to the 2013 Memorial Cup Final where they lost to Halifax.

He does have NHL experience as an assistant coach. He spent six seasons in Vancouver as an assistant to Marc Crawford and joined Crawford’s staff in Los Angeles for two seasons. Now he’ll be coaching Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang while they’re in the heart of their primes.

Torres suspended pending hearing

Raffi Torres, Cory Schneider
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According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.

Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.

“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

Oilers place Scrivens on waivers

Jordan Martinook, Ben Scrivens
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The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.

Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.

It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.

Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.

He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.

Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.

If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.

The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.

The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.