Eddie Johnston
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
190 lb (86 kg)
Teams Boston Bruins
Toronto Maple Leafs
St. Louis Blues
Chicago Black Hawks
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born November 24, 1935,
Montreal, QC, CAN
Pro Career 1956 – 1978

Edward Joseph "Eddie" Johnston (born November 24, 1935 in Montreal, Quebec) is a former player and coach in the National Hockey League.


Johnston with the Bruins

Playing careerEdit

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

He began his hockey career as a teenager in 1953 playing for the hometown Montreal Junior Royals of the Quebec Junior Hockey League. After a six year minor pro league career, principally as the property of the Montreal Canadiens, Johnston was claimed by the Boston Bruins. They called him up in the 1962–63 NHL season. In his second season, he became notable for being the last NHL goaltender to play every minute of every game during the regular season. However, the Bruins were a mediocre team in his first five seasons, finishing out of the playoffs every year and generally in last place.

This changed after expansion in 1967, when after acquiring Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito, the resurgent Bruins became a powerhouse that went on to win Stanley Cups in 1970 and 1972. Capably backing up lead goaltender 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. Toronto in its turn dealt Johnston to the St. Louis Blues, for whom he would be a credible backup for three seasons. His final season, 1978, he played poorly in twelve games for St. Louis before being sold to the Chicago Black Hawks, for whom he played in four matches to end his long goaltending career.

Johnston played in 591 NHL games, compiling a record of 236 wins, 256 losses and 87 ties (many of his losses came during his early years). He had 32 shutouts, with a goals against average of 3.24. 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.

Coach/GM rolesEdit

Johnston went into coaching the next year, leading the expansion New Brunswick Hawks - Chicago's new American Hockey League farm team - to a 41–29–10 record for second place in its division.

He was promoted to be head coach of the Black Hawks during the 1979–80 NHL season, compiling a 34–27–19 record. The following year, he became head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, holding that position until 1983 after having been appointed general manager of the Pens. He held the GM post at Pittsburgh for five years. Johnston oversaw Pittsburgh's 1984 NHL Entry Draft picks in which the Pens picked Mario Lemieux.

After Johnston left the Penguins for the first time in 1988, he served as the general manager of the Hartford Whalers from 1989 until he was released in 1992.

He was once again hired as head coach of the Penguins in 1993 and guided the Pens until 1997, when he was asked to step down after the Penguins failed to win a third Stanley Cup under his guidance. He spent the next nine years as the Assistant General Manager of the Pens before being named Senior Adviser for Hockey Operations in July 2006, his 23rd year with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.

EJ left the coaching reins as the Penguins' all-time leader in coaching wins (232), losses (224), and games coached (516). He was however passed as the Penguins all-time wins leader by Dan Bylsma in 2014.

Awards & Achievements Edit

Coaching RecordEdit

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
G W L T Pts Finish Result
CHI1979–80 80342719871st in SmytheLost in Second Round
PIT1980–81 80303713734th in NorrisLost in First Round
PIT1981–82 80313613754th in PatrickLost in First Round
PIT1982–83 8018539456th in PatrickMissed Playoffs
PIT1993–94 844427131011st in NortheastLost in First Round
PIT1994–95 4829163612nd in NortheastLost in Second Round
PIT1995–96 82492941021st in NortheastLost in Conf. Finals
PIT1996–97 8231265(84)2nd in Northeast(fired)
Preceded by
Johnny Wilson
Head Coaches of the Pittsburgh Penguins
Succeeded by
Lou Angotti
Preceded by
General manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins
1983 - 1988
Succeeded by
Tony Esposito
Preceded by
Scotty Bowman
Head Coaches of the Pittsburgh Penguins
Succeeded by
Craig Patrick
Chicago Blackhawks Head Coaches
Muldoon Stanley Lehman Gardiner Irvin Shaughnessy Tobin Iverson Matheson Gorman Loughlin Stewart Thompson Gottselig Conacher Goodfellow Abel Eddolls Ivan Pilous Reay White Pulford Johnston Magnuson Pulford Tessier Pulford Murdoch Keenan D. Sutter Hartsburg Graham Molleken Pulford Suhonen B. Sutter Yawney Savard

External linksEdit

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