Mike Johnston


General Manager/Head Coach

When Portland Winterhawks owner Bill Gallacher sought to revamp the Winterhawk's hockey operations, he turned to Mike Johnston, who brings nearly ten years of NHL experience to the organization as the team's General Manager and Head Coach.

After taking over early in the 2008-09 season, Johnston and his staff led the Winterhawks to the biggest turnaround in team history in 2009-10, improving the team by 48 points. The Winterhawks made the playoffs for the first time in four years, knocking off Spokane in overtime of Game 7 in a thrilling series.

Following the season, eight Winterhawks were taken in the 2010 NHL Draft, tying a franchise record.

Prior to coming to the Winterhawks in 2008 he spent the previous two seasons with the Los Angeles Kings as Associate Coach. Prior to joining the Kings Johnston served as Associate Coach with the Vancouver Canucks from 1999-2006, where he played a major role in the team's development. In 2004, after a second consecutive 100-point season and a third straight campaign with more than 40 wins, the Canucks captured the Northwest Division championship - the first division title for the franchise since the 1992-93 season.

In addition to his NHL experience, Johnston has an extensive history of coaching at the international level. Most recently, he coached Canada's entry in the 2009 World Under-18 Hockey Championship. In May of 2007, Johnston was an Assistant Coach for Canada at the World Championships in Moscow where Canada - for the first time in 73 years - went undefeated (9-0) in winning the gold medal. This was Johnston's second World Championship after winning in Helsinki in 1997 and his fourth medal at that level (bronze in 1995 and silver in 1996).

Internationally, Johnston worked for Team Canada for five seasons from 1994-99 serving in the capacity of General Manager and Associate Coach and finally Head Coach for the 1998-1999 season, and was an Assistant Coach at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. In addition to the championships at the senior level Johnston has won three gold medals as Head Coach for Canada at the prestigious Spengler Cup Tournament and two World Junior Championships as an Assistant Coach in 1994 and 1995.

A career coach, Johnston initially started at the College and University level in Canada. He coached college hockey in Alberta for five seasons before becoming the Head Coach of the University of New Brunswick from 1989 - 1994, winning two McAdam Division titles, and finishing with three first place finishes and an overall record of 77-44-6. He was named the 3M Coach of the Year in 1994 and won the Telegraph Journal Coach of the Year Award in 1993.

Born in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Johnston holds a Master's degree in Coaching Science and he recently co-authored the book “Simply The Best - Insights and Strategies From Great Hockey Coaches.” Johnston has presented at major international conferences in Russia, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, and Sweden.



Winterhawks Gametime

Vs Kelowna
Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014
Win 3-4
Vs Kelowna
Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
Win 1-5
At Kelowna
Friday, Apr 25, 2014 07:05 pm PDT
Vs Kelowna
Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 02:00 pm PDT
At Kelowna
Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 07:05 pm PDT

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