CALGARY, ALBERTA - Mike Johnston, head coach and general manager of Canada's Full-time National Men's Team since June, 1998 has resigned from his position to become an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League, the Canadian Hockey Association announced Friday.
Johnston was appointed head coach and general manager of Canada's National Team in June 1998. He guided Canada to a 21-17-8 record during the 1998-99 season, including wins at the Var Cup and the Spengler Cup. He also coached Canada's entry in the 1999 World Hockey Championship to a fourth place finish.
The native of Dartmouth, NS joined Canada's National Team in 1994, as an assistant coach under Tom Renney, following several years as a successful university head coach. He then served as associate coach and general manager under Andy Murray. Johnston was also an assistant coach on Canada's National Junior Team as it won back-to-back gold medals at the World Junior Hockey Championship in 19 and a member of the coaching staff of Canada's gold-medal winning team in 1997, the silver-medal winning team in 1996 and bronze-medal winning team in 1995.
"The CHA is very pleased for Mike and we are also proud to have helped him reach this point as a coach," said Renney, Vice-president, Hockey for the Canadian Hockey Association. "Mike played a large role in the development of the program and, over the course of the last year, has participated in the development of a long-term plan for the National Team. We wish him well with the Canucks."
Renney and Willie Desjardins, Assistant coach of the National Team will assume the day-to-day operations of the team and will continue to develop the long term plan for the National Men's Team.
"My time with the National Team was very rewarding and contributed a great deal to my development as a coach," said Mike Johnston. "It's difficult to leave but this is a terrific opportunity to join Vancouver and coach Marc Crawford, who I enjoyed working with at the Olympics."