Johnson Takes Over Admirals

    This from Sunday’s Virginian-Pilot on former Minnesota Duluth defenseman Jim Johnson being named interim coach of the American Hockey League team in Norfolk, Va. Johnson’s son , Derik, is a UMD defenseman recruit:

NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk Admirals head coach Darren Rumble was fired Saturday night, Tampa Bay Lightning executive vice president and general manager Brian Lawton announced.

Tampa Bay is the NHL’s parent club of the Admirals. Norfolk associate coach Jim Johnson will replace Rumble, Lawton said.

Admirals assistant Leigh Mendelson will remain with the team.

“We hope this move can galvanize our team and give us the impetus we need to make a push for the playoffs when we get started again after the All-Star break,” Lawton said in a statement after Norfolk’s 3-1 loss to Adirondack at Scope.

Rumble, who took over before the 2008-09 season, led the Admirals to a 50-61-6-5 record in 122 games.

Johnson played 829 games as an NHL defenseman with 29 goals and 166 assists.

Johnson served as Tampa Bay’s development coach last season and spent time in Norfolk to evaluate and develop the Lightning’s prospects.