Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mike Sullivan Named NYR Assistant Coach

According to Blue Notes:
The long-awaited deal for John Tortorella's former assistant coach, Mike Sullivan, to join the Rangers is complete and is expected to be announced Thursday, according to a source.
If you remember back to February when John Tortorella took over for Tom Renney as the New York Rangers head coach, that's when it was first mentioned that Mike Sullivan would be joining John Tortorella behind the Rangers' bench.

At the time the rumor was that the Rangers had agreed on a contract with Tortorella but there was a hold up because Tampa wanted compensation for Tortorella who was still under contract with Tampa until June. It was then rumored that the holdup was a clause that Mike Sullivan (Tampa Assistant coach) had in his contract, which stipulated that he had the option of being John Tortorella's assistant if Tortorella becomes a coach for another NHL team. It now appears that Tortorella wanted Sullivan to come to NY and be one of his assistants but the Lightning wouldn't allow it, so Jim Schoenfeld said that he would take over that position for the remainder of the season.

Sullivan's Coaching Bio from Wikipedia:

Sullivan began coaching professional hockey during the 2002–2003 season, when he became the head coach of the Providence Bruins of the AHL. In his only season, his team had a 41–17–9–4 record.

Sullivan was hired as the 26th head coach of the Boston Bruins in 2003 by then-general manager Mike O'Connell. His first season with the Bruins was highly successful, as he led them to a 41-19-15-7 record, 104 points and a first place finish in the Northeast Division. They were eliminated however, in the first round of the playoffs to the Montreal Canadiens. After the lockout, Sullivan and the Bruins struggled to win in the new NHL, as they ended the 2005-2006 seaon with a dismal 29-37-16 record, missing the playoffs and finishing last in the Northeast Division. He was subsequently fired by incoming general manager Peter Chiarelli on 27 June 2006 and was replaced by Dave Lewis.

On May 31, 2007, he was named assistant coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has also served as an assistant coach of the U.S. Olympic hockey team at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.

Announcement expected tomorrow, not sure what has taken the organization so long to announce this, it's been anticipated that Sullivan would join the Rangers during the offseason since Tortorella took over the head coaching position.

Update 3:30pm July 16th:

Official Rangers Release:

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has named Mike Sullivan assistant coach.

Sullivan, 41, begins his first season as an assistant coach with the Rangers after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He served as an assistant coach under John Tortorella with Tampa Bay during the 2007-08 season.


It's believed that Sullivan will be Tortorella's only assistant coach.

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