Marshall Johnston has accomplished almost everything that can be accomplished in the world of hockey.
Johnston has achieved success as a player, coach and administrator.
The native of Birch Hills began playing hockey in the school program in his home community. In 1957, Johnston joined the Prince Albert Mintos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. In two seasons he averaged better than a point a game and was chosen a league all-star.
Johnston’s play with the Mintos earned him an athletic scholarship to the University of Denver. His career at Denver was highlighted by an NCAA championship in the 1960-61 season. Denver also won two conference championships during Johnston’s playing career. He was team captain in the 1962-63 season, leading Denver to second place nationally.
From U.S. college, Johnston moved to the Canadian national team and played in two Olympics – 1964 and 1968. He was captain of the latter team that captured a bronze medal. As a member of the national team, Johnston also played at three world championships, earning bronze medals in 1966 and 1967.
Johnston turned professional with the Minnesota North Stars in the spring of 1968 and played in the North Star organization until the end of the 1970-71 season. In 1970-71, Johnston was a first team all-star with the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League and was named the league’s top defenseman. At the end of that year he was traded to the California Gold Seals and played there until retiring after the 1973-74 season.
Johnston’s coaching career began as head coach of the Golden Seals in 1974-75. He then returned to his alma mater, coaching the University of Denver from 1975 through 1981. He was named coach of the year in 1977-78. Johnston also coached internationally, heading Team USA at the world junior championship in 1978 and Team Canada at the world championships in 1978, 1979 and 1982. Team Canada received bronze medals at the 1978 and 1982 championships.
In May 1981, Johnston was named assistant coach and assistant general manager of the Colorado National Hockey League franchise. He took over as interim head coach early in the next season and then when the franchise moved to New Jersey to become the Devils, Johnston returned to an assistant coaching role.
In New Jersey, Johnston moved more into the administrative aspects of the sport, becoming director of player personnel in 1983. He held that role until the end of the 1993 season.
For two seasons, 1993-94 and 1994-95, Johnston was executive director of a four-team scouting combine for the Dallas Stars, Hartford Whalers, Winnipeg Jets and Philadelphia Flyers. After scouting for the New York Islanders during the 1995-96 season, Johnston was appointed director of player personnel for the Ottawa Senators in July 1996. He was named general manager of the Senators in June 1999 and retired from that position in June 2002.
Johnston was inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 1998.
The Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct Marshall Johnston in the athlete and builder categories.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.