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Mike Johnston | Center

Team: Pittsburgh Penguins
Age / DOB:  () / 1/1/2050
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Sam Ventura will serve as a consult with the Pittsburgh Penguins' hockey operations department.
Ventura is the co-founder of the hockey analytics site war-on-ice.com. "To have someone who grew up here in Pittsburgh, literally in our backyard, to have the skill set and knowledge base that Sam has, he seemed like the perfect fit," vice president of hockey operations Jason Karmanos said. "Once I met him and started talking to him, I knew that he was the perfect fit for our group here." Ventura played hockey at Carnegie Mellon University and also earned a Ph.D. there. War-on-ice.com has confirmed that it will remain online. Jul 22 - 12:34 PM

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Date:

The Pittsburgh Penguins have hired two people that hey hope will help reduce the number of injuries the team suffers.

Andy O'Brien has been brought on to serve as the Penguins' director of sport science and performance while Andreas Huppi will act as the team's sports massage therapist. The team will also add a strength and conditioning coach that will work under O'Brien. The team suffered 1,845 man-games lost in 2014-15, which was the fourth most in the league.
Jul 14 - 11:47 AM

The Pittsburgh Penguins aren't likely to acquire a first round pick.

The Penguins lost theirs in the David Perron trade. "I don't see anything happening at the top end of the draft," Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said. "I can get a pick for Friday ... for a player that I can't replace. If it's about getting a pick, I can do that. But I'm not going to. We'll watch the draft. As we get deeper into the draft, if there are some players that we really like that are high on our list and they're falling into rounds 3, 4 and 5, that's when we could possibly make a move." Pittsburgh isn't scheduled to pick until No. 46th overall.
Jun 26 - 11:51 AM

Just in case you needed confirmation, the Pittsburgh Penguins are expected to have the ability to spend to the ceiling in 2015-16.

There was apparently some speculation that might not be the case because the team might be for sale. However, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford insisted that "nothing changes as far as how we run hockey operations." More to the point, the Penguins as they're set up basically need to spend to the cap. They have $31.2 million in cap space committed to Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, and Marc-Andre Fleury alone. They have roughly $61.8 million tied to just 13 players. So it's hard to see them avoid spending to near the cap unless they were to make some significant trades. Then again, as mentioned earlier, Evgeni Malkin is reportedly unhappy...
Jun 5 - 6:36 PM

Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford didn't seek compensation from New Jersey when they hired Ray Shero due to his initial interpretation of the rule.

"The rule is not as clear as it should be," Rutherford said. "We felt that the intent of the rule was for employees that were working with the team, not terminated employees." Then Boston got compensation for Edmonton hiring former Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and the landscape changed. In acknowledgement of that, the Penguins sought compensation for Buffalo's hiring of coach Dan Bylsma and will get a third round pick in return. We'll have to wait and see if the rule remains as is, but for now seeking compensation for fired employees is clearly fair game.
May 29 - 10:45 AM

Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford is looking to trade back into the first round.

The Penguins dealt their first round pick to the Edmonton Oilers earlier in the season as they received David Perron in return for Rob Klinkhammer and what turned out to be the 16th pick. Rutherford will be looking at teams who have two picks in the first round which include the Oilers, Buffalo, Toronto, Winnipeg, Arizona and the Philadelphia Flyers.
May 24 - 8:00 AM

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford wants to see the Pittsburgh Penguins play a more disciplined game in 2015-16.

That was a big issue for Pittsburgh this season. The squad had the second most minor penalties in the league with 349. If not for a strong penalty kill, the Penguins might not have even made the playoffs under those circumstances. It was a significant change from the 2013-14 campaign when they were a middle of the road team with 298 minor penalties.
Apr 29 - 5:46 AM

Pittsburgh Penguins CEO David Morehouse said that they aren't firing GM Jim Rutherford and head coach Mike Johnston.

There's been some speculation that the team might part ways with the front office members after their first season with the franchise, but it appears that is not the case. This might not quell rumors that the organization is dysfunctional, though.
Apr 25 - 2:43 PM

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford apparently got into an argument with Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer Rob Rossi.

As Rossi described it, Rutherford addressed him as the writer was making his way to the Penguins' dressing room following their 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Monday. Rutherford reportedly called him an "(expletive) jerk." While we're willing to take the blow-by-blow of what happened with a grain of salt given that we're ultimately getting just one side of it, it's typically a bad idea for an executive to lose his temper with a columnist if for no other reason than columnist then gets to write about it, which is what happened in this case. It's also noteworthy because the Penguins' first season under Rutherford has been a disappointment and if they lose their first round series against the Rangers, which seems likely after falling down 2-1, it will be interesting to see what happens.
Apr 21 - 11:45 AM

Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has thrown his support behind coach Mike Johnston.

"He's done a very good job with what he's had to work with," Rutherford said. "Given all the injured players and difficult circumstances, we've been very happy with the job that Mike and his staff have done getting the team to the cusp of the playoffs." The Penguins have had to deal with some injury problems, but given the talent of this roster, we have a tough time buying into the idea that missing the playoffs or even just barely making them should be regarded as an acceptable outcome. That being said, it's not surprising to see Rutherford support Johnston because it is the standard for a general manager to publicly support his coach regardless of what the results have been. Because of that, any general manager's endorsement of a bench boss has to be taken with a grain of salt. It's also worth noting that Johnston will still end up looking like a hero if his Penguins enjoy a lengthy playoff run despite their shaky regular season.
Apr 9 - 11:32 AM

Mike Johnston's mom passed away Friday night at the age of 81.

Our condolences to the Johnston family. Johnston will coach the Penguins for both games on the weekend before returning to his native Nova Scotia for the funeral next week.
Mar 28 - 10:56 AM

The slumping Pittsburgh Penguins are not blaming head coach Mike Johnston.

The Penguins are 3-5-2 in their last 10 and are in fifth place in the East but only one point ahead of Washington and Detroit. "I've been very pleased with how the coaching staff has handled this situation," defenseman Rob Scuderi said. "This isn't easy, being in a funk like this. The last thing you need to see is your coach unraveling. Everyone seems to stay calm because Mike is calm. And that's what we need. He's been consistent since Day 1. He's pushing some buttons right now, nitpicking a little bit. But he needs to right now. He's been great."
Mar 28 - 10:47 AM

The Pittsburgh Penguins have lost six of their last eight games.

That's part of a larger streak of mediocrity for Pittsburgh as they've gone 6-8-4 after a 22-6-4 start to the campaign. The Penguins had built up such an impressive cushion for itself that missing the playoffs still seems unlikely, but they're starting to lose ground when it comes to positioning. The Islanders have taken the lead in the Metropolitan Division and Pittsburgh is just four points ahead of the Rangers and Capitals. It's not outside the realm of possibilities that Pittsburgh could end up in a Wild Card spot if they don't start to turn things around.
Feb 2 - 11:29 AM

The Pittsburgh Penguins are only 6-7-3 against their Metropolitan divisional rivals this season.

This is in sharp contrast to their 20-4-3 mark against the rest of the team's in the NHL. Unfortunately, the Penguins take on the Rangers today and will have to go head-to-head against Metropolitan division teams in the early rounds of the playoffs if four teams from each division make it.
Jan 18 - 9:49 AM

The Penguins have called off their morning practice Saturday due to poor road conditions in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins host the Montreal Canadiens Saturday and it was hoped that David Perron would get in at least one practice with his new teammates. He won't.
Jan 3 - 10:09 AM

Depth Charts

All Positions
PosRoleName
C1Sidney Crosby
2Evgeni Malkin
3Nick Bonino
4Kevin Porter
5Oskar Sundqvist
LW1Chris Kunitz
2David Perron
3Sergei Plotnikov
4Beau Bennett
RW1Phil Kessel
2Patric Hornqvist
3Pascal Dupuis
4Eric Fehr
5Bryan Rust
D1Kris Letang
2Olli Maatta
3Ian Cole
4Ben Lovejoy
5Rob Scuderi
6Tim Erixon
7Niclas Andersen
8Brian Dumoulin
9Derrick Pouliot
G1Marc-Andre Fleury
2Jeff Zatkoff