The Portland Winterhawks have announced that General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston and Assistant General Manager & Assistant Coach Travis Green have signed four-year contract extensions.
In addition, Assistant Coach Kyle Gustafson, Director of Player Personnel Garry Davidson, Director of Hockey Operations Matt Bardsley, Athletic Trainer/Strength & Conditioning Coach Rich Campbell and Equipment Manager Rob Gagne have also all signed multi-year contract extensions.
“The job Mike, Travis and the entire hockey operations staff have done to transform a last place team into the Western Conference champion in less than three years is nothing short of remarkable,” said Winterhawks owner Bill Gallacher. “The stability these extensions will provide the organization will be incredibly valuable as Mike and Travis continue to pursue the goal of bringing the Memorial Cup back to Portland.”
“On behalf of Travis and the entire hockey operations staff, we’re thrilled to have these extensions signed as we continue our goal of building a championship team here in Portland,” said Johnston. “Since joining the WHL two and a half years ago I’ve been impressed by the quality of the league’s players, coaches and management. We’re excited about the future of the Winterhawks organization and the direction we’re heading but clearly understand there are a lot of challenges ahead.”
Johnston was named the WHL’s Western Conference executive of the year this season in building a team that finished first in the conference with 103 points. In the playoffs, the Winterhawks won the Western Conference, advancing to the WHL Finals for the first time since 2001. In addition, last season the Winterhawks tied a franchise record with eight players selected in the NHL Draft, including Ryan Johansen fourth overall and Nino Niederreiter fifth overall, with another four players expected to be taken in this year’s draft.
In just under three years at the helm of the Winterhawks, Johnston is 108-79-5-6, and his winning percentage of .573 is second in franchise history among coaches with at least 100 games behind the bench. He came to the Winterhawks after a decade in the National Hockey League as associate coach with the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings. Johnston has also been actively involved with Hockey Canada, coaching at such international events such as the Olympics, World Championships and World Under-18 team.
Green joined the Winterhawks’ front office after playing 14 years in the NHL with five teams. His posted 193 goals and 262 assists for 455 points in 970 career games. Green also played four seasons in the WHL from 1986-1990 with the Spokane Chiefs and Medicine Hat Tigers, totaling 152 goals and 189 assists for 341 points. Last year the Chiefs named him one of the top-25 players in the franchise’s history.
Assistant Coach Kyle Gustafson will be entering his eighth season with the team. He assists Johnston and Green with the team’s preparation for games, and plays an active role in team practices, leading players through specific drills to improve their skill sets, and plays a big role in the team’s video scouting.
Director of Player Personnel Garry Davidson oversees the team’s scouting of bantam players in preparation for the annual bantam draft, and came to the Winterhawks after a long career in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).
Director of Hockey Operations Matt Bardsley has been with the organization for nearly a decade. He evaluates other teams’ rosters and list players, assists Johnston and Green with trade discussions and player evaluations and oversees the team’s recruiting program.
Athletic Trainer/Strength & Conditioning Coach Rich Campbell joined the organization with Johnston and Green in 2008 and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Winterhawks players’ physical conditioning. Before joining the Winterhawks, Campbell was a trainer for the U.S. at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and was Head Athletic Trainer for the NHL’s New York Islanders from 1996-2006.
Equipment Manager Rob Gagne also joined the team with Johnston and Green in 2008, and has nearly 20 years of hockey experience. Gagne has worked for the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, as well as teams in the American Hockey League, United State Hockey League and Colonial Hockey League.
Season tickets for the 2011-12 season are on sale now. Fans can call 503-236-HAWK or email email@example.com to book their seats.