The Pittsburgh Penguins coaching search will resume today with some new candidates in the mix and despite this job making a lot of sense for a veteran experienced coach, more talk again is on AHL and junior coaches emerging on the Penguins radar.
Some Latest Developments: In the past couple days, the team has reached out to AHL coach Todd Nelson and Portland Winterhawks coach Mike Johnston has emerged on the Penguins radar.
Johnston will officially interview at an undisclosed location with team officials this week, an NHL source confirmed. Darren Dreger of TSN calls Johnston a “strong contender” for the job.
Johnston has been the Portland Winterhawks coach since 2008-2009 and was under serious consideration for the Vancouver job.
What’s been interesting with the Penguins search is they didn’t give very strong consideration to veteran coach Marc Crawford who took his name of the search but have had a lot of interest in former assistants of his.
Willie Desjardins was Crawford’s assistant with Dallas and Johnston spent two years on Crawford’s coaching staff in Los Angeles.
MORE ULF BUZZ
Until Ulf Samuelsson comes out and says he’s officially staying with the New York Rangers where he has three years left on his contract, we are not ruling him out but the Penguins went into the weekend with the mindset that Samuelsson doesn’t want the job, team sources said.
According to a close associate of Samuelsson’s, the former Penguins defenseman promised his wife he would never coach any of his sons again at the pro level after doing so in 2011 when coaching in Sweden.
Samuelsson, according to a source, recommended to Penguins owner Mario Lemieux that the team hire John Hynes who Samuelsson holds in high regard for the development of his son Philip. Jim Rutherford, though, is not on board with hiring Hynes as it will not look like his hire.