Pittsburgh Penguins head mentor Mike Sullivan has marked a three-year contract augmentation through the 2019-20 season; it was reported today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
“Mike did the best coaching job in the NHL last season,” Rutherford said. “He continues to be a terrific coach and we are happy to give him a well-deserved extension.”
Since assuming control over a Penguins’ group that sat outside of a playoff spot when he was contracted on Dec. 12, 2015, the 48-year old Sullivan has:
*Guided his club to the establishment’s fourth Stanley Cup title the previous spring.
*Helped author one of the best in-season turnarounds in establishment history, guiding the Penguins to a 33-16-5 finish after taking over last year.
*Made beyond any doubt his group hasn’t endured a Cup aftereffect so far this year, as the Penguins currently own the NHL’s second-best record, one point short of league-leading Columbus.
A local of Marshfield, Massachusetts, Sullivan changed the Penguins’ character in his first season behind the seat, ingraining the motto ‘Just Play’ into his players. The outcome was his club posting the alliance’s second-best record and turning into its most astounding scoring outfit from the day of his employing until the end of the season.
That turnaround not just shot Pittsburgh to the NHL’s fourth-best overall record last year, yet it served as the springboard to a prevailing playoff execution after the Penguins won eight of their last nine, and 14 of their last 16 games entering the postseason.
By going ahead to win the Stanley Cup, Sullivan turned out to be only the 6th American-conceived head mentor in NHL history to a championship and just the fourth coach to win in the wake of assuming control at a middle of the season.
Sullivan’s Penguins went 16-8 amid their supernatural ride through the playoff field, meeting the establishment record for home playoff wins with nine, while playing with a dramatic style that incorporated a group record four overtime victories.
This season, Sullivan has the Penguins sitting at 22-8-5, which has them in the thick of the race for the Metropolitan Division title, a feat made even more impressive when considering that five of the NHL’s top-eight teams at this moment dwell inside the Metro Division.
Sullivan is 55-24-10 behind the Penguins’ seat. Just the Washington Capitals have aggregated more point (124 to 120) among NHL groups amid that span.
Two early trademarks of Sullivan’s groups are the capacity to return from multi-objective shortfalls, and they have been about difficult to beat in consecutive regulation games.
Incredibly, the Penguins have recorded 14 of their 55 wins (25%) under Sullivan when trailing by at least two objectives anytime inside that challenge. This season, the Penguins possess the NHL’s best winning rate when trailing after both the first and second time frames.
Since dropping the first four games of Sullivan’s residency in control, the Penguins have a dash of 85 successive diversions played without consecutive direction misfortunes. That number swells to 109 if you factor the playoffs.
One of the keys to Sullivan’s prosperity has been giving his geniuses the hostile opportunity to show their gifts.
Sidney Crosby drives all NHL players in both objectives (54) and point (104) in 81 diversions played since Sullivan’s arrival.
Crosby (first, 1.28), Evgeni Malkin (third, 1.11) and Kris Letang (sixth, 1.01) all rank among the NHL points per game leaders during that same time span.
Rutherford promoted Sullivan to head coach in Pittsburgh a year ago after an 18-5 begin to Sullivan’s first year behind the seat of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Pittsburgh’s top ranch club.
The prior year is joining the Pittsburgh Association, Sullivan earned a Stanley Cup ring with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2014-15, serving as a player development coach.
Sullivan started his NHL head guiding vacation with the Boston Bruins from 2003-06, winning a division title his first year. He later burned through seven straight years as NHL assistant coach with Tampa Bay, the New York Rangers and Vancouver from 2007-14.
Sullivan has trained for Team USA a few circumstances at the universal level, including serving as an associate mentor at the current year’s World Cup and in the 2006 Olympics, and he was the head coach of the 2006 World Championship team.
Before beginning his coaching career, Sullivan skated in 709NHL games over 11 seasons, totaling 54 goals and 136 points.