Eddie Johnston

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Eddie Johnston
1963 Topps Ed Johnston.jpg
Born (1935-11-24) November 24, 1935 (age 83)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for Boston Bruins
Toronto Maple Leafs
St. Louis Blues
Chicago Black Hawks
Playing career 1956–1978

Edward Joseph Johnston (born November 24, 1935) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey goaltender and former coach and general manager in the National Hockey League. His professional career spanned fifty-three years (twenty-two as a player and thirty-one in management), mostly in the NHL. He won two Stanley Cups as a player with the Boston Bruins in 1970 and 1972, and a third in 2009 as senior advisor for hockey operations with the Pittsburgh Penguins, an organization he served in various capacities for twenty-five years. He was the last NHL goaltender to play every minute of every game in a season, in 1963–64.

Playing career[edit]

Eddie Johnston 1970s alumni bruins.jpg

Johnston grew up in an anglophone neighborhood in Montreal and was often called "E.J.", a nickname by which he is still known. He became interested in ice hockey as a youth and became a goaltender.

Johnston began his hockey career as a teenager in 1953 with the Montreal Junior Royals of the Quebec Junior Hockey League. After six years in the minor leagues, he was called up in 1962 by the Boston Bruins, who owned his rights and for whom he would play the bulk of his NHL career. In the following season, he played every minute of every game during the regular season, the last NHL goaltender to do so.

The Bruins were a mediocre team in his first five seasons, finishing out of the playoffs every year and often in last place. This changed after expansion in 1967, when after acquiring Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito, the resurgent Bruins became a powerhouse that won the Stanley Cup in 1970 and 1972. Serving as a backup to Gerry Cheevers, Johnston played well enough to be named as a backup to Team Canada for the Summit Series in 1972, although he played only in exhibition matches. The following season, after defections to the new World Hockey Association left Johnston as the number one goaltender for the Bruins once more, he did not play nearly so well, and was traded after the season to the Toronto Maple Leafs in completion of the trade that brought Jacques Plante to Boston. After one season with the Leafs, Johnston was dealt to the St. Louis Blues, for whom he was a credible backup for three seasons. In his final season, 1977-78, he played poorly in twelve games for St. Louis and was then sold to the Chicago Black Hawks, for whom he played in four matches to end his playing career. At the time of his retirement, he was ninth all time in games played by a goaltender, sixteenth all time in goaltending wins and sixth in losses.

On Halloween night in 1968, Johnston was severely injured by Bobby Orr's slapshot to the side of his head during warm-up in Detroit. He spent six weeks in hospital.[1]

Coach and general manager[edit]

The year after he retired as a player, Johnston became the coach of the New Brunswick Hawks, the Chicago Black Hawks' new American Hockey League farm team, and lead them to a 41–29–10 record and second place in its division.

He became head coach of the Black Hawks during the 1979–80 NHL season and compiled a 34–27–19 record. The following year, he became head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins and in 1983 was appointed general manager. He held the GM post at Pittsburgh for five years. Johnston oversaw Pittsburgh's selection of Mario Lemieux in the entry draft; without Lemieux, Johnston said in reference to the Penguins' home arena, Mellon Arena, "This place would be a parking lot." Lemieux would come to be known as the team's repeated savior, as well as one of the greatest hockey players of all-time.

After Johnston left the Penguins for the first time in 1988, he served as the general manager of the Hartford Whalers from 1989 until his release in 1992. Johnston's tenure is remembered with distinct displeasure in Hartford,[2] where he is viewed as ultimately being responsible for the franchise's eventual relocation to North Carolina, by having dismantled a playoff team through unproductive trades, and by allowing relations between captain and star player Ron Francis and head coach Rick Ley to deteriorate to the point where Francis was accused of "playing out the final year of his contract"; Francis was stripped of his captaincy by Ley in December 1990.

Johnston subsequently traded Francis, along with his roommate Ulf Samuelsson, to Pittsburgh as part of a six-player deal on March 4, 1991. Although some thought that Hartford got the better end of the bargain as center John Cullen had been among the league leaders in scoring that season and Zarley Zalapski was seen as a young defenseman with great promise, the deal rapidly became one of the most lopsided and notorious in NHL history as the popular Francis and Samuelsson immediately went on to play major roles in Pittsburgh's first two Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992, while neither Cullen nor Zalapski could duplicate their success with Pittsburgh in Hartford.

After being considered for the position for the 1992–93 season but having been unable to come to terms on a contract with Pittsburgh, Johnston was once again hired as head coach of the Penguins for 1993–94 and guided the Pens until the 1996–97 season, when he was asked to step down due to the Penguins' failure to win a third Stanley Cup under his guidance. He spent the next nine years as the assistant general manager to Craig Patrick before being named Senior Adviser for Hockey Operations in July 2006, his 23rd year with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. It was in that capacity as the Penguins finally won their third Stanley Cup in 2009 that E.J. did the same, winning his first with Pittsburgh, first since 1972, and first as management.

In 2009, he announced that Game 7 of the Finals would be his last and moved into semi-retirement.

Johnston in Pittsburgh for the final regular season game at Mellon Arena, April 2010.

On April 8, 2010, Johnston joined more than 50 former Penguins being honored in a pre-game ceremony before the final regular season game at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh.

Johnston remains the Penguins' all-time leader in coaching losses (224) and games coached (516).

On January 7, 2014 against the Vancouver Canucks, Dan Bylsma passed him as the Penguins all-time leader in coaching wins with 233.[3]

Awards and achievements[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1953–54 Montréal Jr. Royals QJHL 35 226 0 4 0 4 0 240 32 0 8.00
1954–55 Trois-Rivières Reds QJHL 46 20 24 2 2760 169 1 3.67 10 3 7 0 613 29 1 2.84
1955–56 Chatham Maroons OHA-Sr. 7 420 31 0 4.43
1955–56 Moncton Hawks ACSHL 1 1 0 0 60 2 0 2.00
1955–56 Chicoutimi Saguenéens QHL 1 0 0 0 20 1 0 3.00
1955–56 Montréal Jr. Canadiens M-Cup 10 5 4 1 598 27 2 2.71
1956–57 Winnipeg Warriors WHL 50 17 32 1 3040 192 2 3.79
1957–58 Shawinigan Cataractes QHL 63 31 27 5 3760 230 5 3.67 14 8 6 880 49 1 3.34
1958–59 Edmonton Flyers WHL 49 26 21 2 2960 163 1 3.30 3 0 3 180 12 0 4.00
1959–60 Johnstown Jets EHL 63 3780 169 4 2.68 13 9 4 780 25 2 1.92
1960–61 Hull-Ottawa Canadiens EPHL 70 41 20 9 4200 187 11 2.67 14 8 6 857 27 0 1.89
1961–62 Spokane Comets WHL 70 37 28 5 4310 237 3 3.30 16 9 7 972 58 1 3.58
1962–63 Boston Bruins NHL 50 11 27 10 2913 193 1 3.98 .893
1963–64 Boston Bruins NHL 70 18 40 12 4200 211 6 3.01 .914
1964–65 Boston Bruins NHL 47 11 32 4 2820 163 3 3.47 .897
1965–66 Boston Bruins NHL 33 10 19 2 1744 108 1 3.72 .894
1965–66 Los Angeles Blades WHL 5 2 2 0 260 10 1 2.31
1966–67 Boston Bruins NHL 34 8 21 2 1880 116 0 3.70 .880
1967–68 Boston Bruins NHL 28 11 8 5 1524 73 0 2.87 .897
1968–69 Boston Bruins NHL 24 14 6 4 1440 74 2 3.08 .898 1 0 1 65 4 0 3.69 .867
1969–70 Boston Bruins NHL 37 16 9 11 2176 108 3 2.98 .906 1 0 1 60 4 0 4.00 .897
1970–71 Boston Bruins NHL 38 30 6 2 2280 96 4 2.53 .914 1 0 1 60 7 0 7.00 .811
1971–72 Boston Bruins NHL 38 27 8 3 2260 102 2 2.71 .899 7 6 1 420 13 1 1.86 .936
1972–73 Boston Bruins NHL 45 24 17 1 2510 137 5 3.27 .885 3 1 2 160 9 0 3.38 .897
1973–74 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 26 12 9 4 1516 78 1 3.09 .894 1 0 1 60 6 0 6.00 .800
1974–75 St. Louis Blues NHL 30 12 13 5 1800 93 2 3.10 .895 1 0 1 60 5 0 5.00 .828
1975–76 St. Louis Blues NHL 38 11 17 9 2152 130 1 3.62 .872
1976–77 St. Louis Blues NHL 38 13 16 5 2111 108 1 3.07 .882 3 0 2 138 9 0 3.91 .893
1977–78 St. Louis Blues NHL 12 5 6 1 650 45 0 4.15 .853
1977–78 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 4 1 3 0 240 17 0 4.25 .851
NHL totals 592 234 257 80 34,216 1852 32 3.25 .895 18 7 10 1023 57 1 3.34 .894

"Johnston's stats". The Goaltender Home Page. Retrieved 2017-08-07.

Coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Finish Result
CHI 1979–80 80 34 27 19 87 1st in Smythe Lost in second round
PIT 1980–81 80 30 37 13 73 4th in Norris Lost in first round
PIT 1981–82 80 31 36 13 75 4th in Patrick Lost in first round
PIT 1982–83 80 18 53 9 45 6th in Patrick Missed playoffs
PIT 1993–94 84 44 27 13 101 1st in Northeast Lost in first round
PIT 1994–95 48 29 16 3 61 2nd in Northeast Lost in second round
PIT 1995–96 82 49 29 4 102 1st in Northeast Lost in Conf. Finals
PIT 1996–97 62 31 26 5 (84) 2nd in Northeast (fired)
Total 596 266 251 60

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/13638-Goalies-not-immune-to-concussion-problems.html
  2. ^ http://www.hartfordwhalers.org/future_20060107.php | Civic Pride: A Bonanza Of Memories, A Dream That Won't Die; January 7, 2006 – Jeff Jacobs – Hartford Courant
  3. ^ Pittsburgh Penguins [@penguins] (8 January 2014). "Congratulations to Dan Bylsma, now the #Pens All-Time Winningest coach! 233 wins. Congrats Coach!" (Tweet) – via Twitter. /photo/1

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bill White
Head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks
1979–80
Succeeded by
Keith Magnuson
Preceded by
Johnny Wilson
Head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins
198083
Succeeded by
Lou Angotti
Preceded by
Baz Bastien
General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins
198388
Succeeded by
Tony Esposito
Preceded by
Emile Francis
General Manager of the Hartford Whalers
1989–92
Succeeded by
Brian Burke
Preceded by
Scotty Bowman
Head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins
199397
Succeeded by
Craig Patrick