You can add the name Mike Johnston to the list of Vancouver Canucks head coaching candidates. Canuck general manager Jim Benning acknowledged in a radio interview Friday that Johnston, who has spent the past five seasons as general manager and head coach of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, has interviewed for the job. “He has done an excellent job the last five years with Portland,” said Benning, who has an off-season home in the Portland area. “They play an up-tempo, skilled game and he has a history with the Canucks and the organization, so he understands the market. He is going to be a candidate. . .He coaches the style we want our team to play. The interview went well.” Johnston served as an assistant with the Canucks under Marc Crawford, who is also apparently in the mix. Benning and Crawford were photographed together this week having coffee on a restaurant patio. Benning said he has other coaching candidates to interview next week, presumably Los Angeles Kings assistant John Stevens and Willie Desjardins, who has his Texas Stars in the AHL’s Calder Cup final. Benning said he expects to have interviewed between six and eight candidates by the time he settles on a replacement for the fired John Tortorella. Speaking of Tortorella, Benning told Team 1040 he does not want a yeller or a screamer as the team’s new coach and said he doesn’t believe that style works anymore.
Portland's Mike Johnston in mix for Canucks’ coaching job
Vancouver Sun | Jun 15