Thursday, March 4, 2010

Badger Bob Johnson

Today would have been "Badger" Bob Johnson's 79th birthday.
The legendary coach gained lastly NHL fame when he piloted the 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins to their first Stanley Cup victory in 6 games over the Minnesota North Stars.
Badger Bob came to the Penguins in 1990 after leading the Calgary Flames to the 1986 Stanley Cup Finals and a stint as head of USA Hockey. Bob was already a legend by the time he rolled into Pittsburgh with 3 NCAA hockey championships at University of Wisconsin. He had coached Team USA in the 1976 Winter Olympics and in the Canada Cup tournament of 1981, 84 and 87.
He was famous for the phrase "Its a Great day for Hockey!"
Sadly after the '91 Cup finals while preparing Team USA for the Canada Cup he suffered a brain aneurysm and was diagnosed with brain cancer shortly after that and named Scotty Bowman interim coach while he underwent treatment. On November 26th 1991 Badger Bob died in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Penguins went on to win their second Stanley Cup Trophy after the 1991-92 season and dedicated it to their late coach.
The Penguins used "A Great Day For Hockey" as their marketing slogan for the 2008–09 season. On June 12, 2009, exactly 19 years to the day of Johnson's hiring, the Penguins won their third Stanley Cup.

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