Bears Sign Johnson, Hire Assistant Coach

The Hershey Bears got free agency started on July 5th, signing veteran forward Jamie Johnson to an AHL contract for the 2013-2014 season. Johnson, 31, played in the KHL last year for Dinamo Riga and totaled 22 points in 52 games. He’s played in 423 career AHL contests, registering 282 points while playing for five teams, including the Rochester Americans, Grand Rapids Griffins and Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Johnson played for the Sarnia Sting and Oshawa Generals for four years in junior level hockey.

“I was really hoping to have a chance to go somewhere and have a chance to win a championship,” said Johnson in an interview with Hershey Bears Media Relations Manager Scott Stuccio on the Bears’ website. “We spoke with Doug a couple weeks ago and everything kind of fell into place. I’m extremely excited.”

He played with Hershey center Jeff Taffe for the Rochester Americans and both are good friends. Johnson looks to be the second line center at this point in time, but the Bears could add another center and move the newest Hershey forward to the wing.

The Bears also named Ryan Mougenel assistant coach for the 2013-2014 season. Newest Hershey head coach Mike Haviland helped in the hiring process, looking for someone that will make an impact, rather than a “yes” guy. The 37 year old coach led the Las Vegas Wranglers for the last four years in the ECHL, recording a 151-111-10-16 record. The Wranglers earned the Western Conference Championship in 2012 under Mougenel.

He played in the ECHL as a player, winning a Calder Cup Championship in 2003 for the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies under the direction of current Hershey Bears’ head coach Mike Haviland.

Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee made his first signing of the offseason, signing defenseman David Kolomatis to a one year, two way contract. The 24 year old blue liner posted 28 points and 18 penalty minutes in 46 games for the Manchester Monarchs last season. He will likely be a Hershey Bear the whole season next year, and brings a right handed shot, which was a big need heading into the offseason.

Stay tuned at Inside Hockey for more news on the Hershey Bears.

You can follow Matthew on twitter @m_speck and email him at mspeck21@yahoo.com with any questions or comments.

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