Penguins fire Johnston as coach, name Sullivan

Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:22pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

(Reuters) - The Pittsburgh Penguins have fired coach Mike Johnston and replaced him with Mike Sullivan, the team said on Saturday.

Johnston, who was in his second season coaching the Penguins, had steered them to a 15-10-3 record this season after a 3-2 shootout loss at home to the Los Angeles Kings on Friday to sit fifth in the Metropolitan Division.

Overall, Johnston compiled a 58-37-15 record with the high-profile club led by former MVPs Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin that stood 28th in scoring this season.

"I felt it was time for a coaching change because our team has underachieved," general manager Jim Rutherford told the Penguins website (

"Our expectations are much higher with this group of players."

Sullivan, 47, was in his first season coaching Pittsburgh's American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, posting an 18-5-0 record to lead the Atlantic Division.

He previously coached two seasons with the Boston Bruins, winning a division title in 2003-04 and going 70-56-31 overall.

"Mike Sullivan has been a head coach and an assistant coach in the NHL and we've been very fortunate to have him with our AHL club this season," Rutherford said. "He's ready to step in."

Assistant coach Gary Agnew was fired along with Johnston.   Continued...

Mike Johnston gestures behind the bench against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports