Mike Sullivan is locked in long-term as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Today, the team announced a three-year extension for the esteemed coach, beginning after the 2023-24 season and lasting through 2026-27.
Sullivan gave a statement today on his extension:
My family and I are excited to continue the journey in Pittsburgh. Words can’t express the respect and gratitude I have for what we have accomplished during my tenure with the Penguins. It is a testament to the character of the people and players in this organization, and the standard of excellence that we have established collectively. I’m grateful to Fenway Sports Group and the Penguins management group for their trust and confidence in me.
Sullivan is quickly transforming into one of the most important figures in Penguins’ history. His tenure as head coach has been nothing short of elite from a management perspective, guiding the team to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and 2017 while also consistently keeping a standard of excellence throughout regular season play. The significance and amount of injuries that the Penguins have faced, especially in recent years, have been overcome largely in part due to Sullivan’s coaching.
In 507 games behind the Penguins bench, Sullivan has a record of 297-156-54 or a points percentage of .639%. He has a playoff record of 44-38.
If he remains Pittsburgh’s coach for the duration of his new extension, it’ll be at least a 12-year tenure for Sullivan as the team’s head coach. With seven seasons under his belt already, he’s been the longest continuously-serving coach in Penguins history, and he’s tied with Eddie Johnston for total seasons served behind the bench as head coach for the organization.
In the coming years, Sullivan could be given the tall task of leading the Penguins out of the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin era. Both of their contracts expire prior to 2027, and while they surely may re-sign, it’s unlikely that they’ll be at the same dominant level of play. Without a slam-dunk prospect in the system to solidify the future, the team will rely heavily on Sullivan’s coaching performance to keep them competitive.
But that’s all Sullivan’s done so far in Pittsburgh — keeping them competitive. The team has the longest active playoff streak in the NHL, dating back to 2007, and it was one he singlehandedly saved in 2016 after taking over for Mike Johnston midseason after just a 15-10-3 start. Going 33-16-5 the rest of the way, Sullivan and the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in the first two seasons he served behind the bench, and while their playoff success has been limited since that point, Sullivan’s managed to keep the ship turned in the right direction.
Key phrase here being “If he remains Pittsburgh’s coach for the duration of his new extension…”
Wonderful addition to start of this thread.
Although, I made the mistake of reading the Athletic comment section and evidently this is a terrible move by a team that doesn’t want to win…
Did you know what Sullivan has won ZERO Cups since he won those two Cups back to back? This clearly shows that he’s now a moron and terrible coach. Good coaches win every single year.
OR it shows that we have a lousy know nothing bandwagon fan base.
Obviously, I’m going with the latter.
Sure, it’s the old cliche, what have you done for me lately.