Pittsburgh Penguins Sign Coach Mike Sullivan to Extension

Mike Sullivan
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 03: Head coach Mike Sullivan of the Pittsburgh Penguins gives directions to his players during a timeout in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 3, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh defeated Washington 3-1. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mike Sullivan

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed head coach Mike Sullivan to a four-year contract extension. Sullivan’s new deal takes effect at the end of the 2019-20 season and carries him through the 2023-24 campaign.

Mike Sullivan Gets Extension with Penguins

The Marshfield, Mass. native is the first American-born coach to win back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 2016 and 2017. He’s only the second head coach to win Stanley Cups in each of his first two seasons behind the bench with a team, joining Toe Blake, who did it with the Montreal Canadiens. Sullivan is also theĀ  first head coach to lead his team to back-to-back championships since Scotty Bowman won with the Detroit Red Wings in 1996 and 1997.

The coach has a 174-92-34 record behind the Penguins’ bench. Sullivan took over for Mike Johnston, who was fired on Dec. 12, 2015. Pittsburgh posted a 33-16-5 mark to finish the year. That vaulted them to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference en route to Pittsburgh’s fourth Stanley Cup championship.

“Mike has done a great job delivering four, 100-plus point seasons with our team,” Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said in a release. “To win back-to-back Stanley Cups in this era speaks volumes of him as a coach. His instincts in managing the inter-workings of our team both on and off the ice has been impressive.”

What it Means for the Future

The Pens continue to have stability behind the bench as new players come in this off-season. Star forward Phil Kessel was dealt to the Arizona Coyotes just before the start of free agency.

Pittsburgh was swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the New York Islanders. The Penguins hope to return to form with another deep post-season run, but will have to contender with emerging threats like the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils. They’ll also have to worry about playoff teams like the Islanders, Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes.

PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 03: Head coach Mike Sullivan of the Pittsburgh Penguins gives directions to his players during a timeout in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 3, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh defeated Washington 3-1. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

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