Mike Johnston Fired, but GM Jim Rutherford the Root of the Penguins’ Problems

December 12th, 2015 by Jonathan Willis Leave a reply »

On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Penguins made a move that was increasingly seen as inevitable. The team dismissed head coach Mike Johnston and assistant coach Gary Agnew, as general manager Jim Rutherford tacitly acknowledged he made a mistake behind the bench.

Mike Sullivan will now be given a chance to right the ship.

He returned to head coaching this year with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL, guiding the baby Penguins to an 18-5-0 run and plus-36 goal differential over just 23 games in the minors. It was Sullivan’s first foray as a head coach since being fired by Boston in 2006; he spent most of the interim as an assistant to John Tortorella in Tampa Bay, New York and Vancouver.

Sullivan established himself as a legitimate candidate with his strong work in the minors this season and deserves a chance to see if he can get more out of Pittsburgh’s top talent than Johnston did. But the Penguins have some real problems—problems that reflect just as badly on Rutherford as they did on Johnston.

Those issues start on defence. Kris Letang is out with an upper-body injury, mea ...

Read Full Article at Bleacher Report - NHL
Article written by


Comments are closed.