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Rangers add Mike Sullivan as assistant coach

Friday, 07.17.2009 / 11:06 AM / 2009 NHL Offseason News

NHL.com

Mike Sullivan and John Tortorella are back together, this time in the Big Apple.

The New York Rangers on Thursday hired Sullivan as an assistant coach, reuniting him with Tortorella, who took over as Rangers coach late in the 2008-09 season after Tom Renney was fired. Sullivan, 41, spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning and was worked under Tortorella in 2007-08. He stayed on last season after Tortorella was let go following a last-place finish in '07-08.

Prior to joining the Lightning, Sullivan served as coach for the U.S. Men's team at the 2007 World Championships in Russia. He also served as an assistant for the U.S. Men's Olympic Team at the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino, Italy.

Sullivan began his coaching career in 2002 as coach of Providence in the American Hockey League, leading the Baby Bruins to a 41-17-9-4 record and first place in the AHL's North Division through the team's first 71 games before being elevated to an assistant's role in Boston.

He was named coach of the Bruins the in 2003-04 and led the team to a 41-19-15-7 mark and the Northeast Division title. In two seasons behind the bench in Boston, he posted a 70-56-15-23 record in 164 regular-season games.

Sullivan skated in 709 career NHL games in 11 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames, Boston Bruins, and Phoenix Coyotes, registering 54 goals and 82 assists for 136 points, along with 203 penalty minutes.

The Marshfield, Mass., native was originally selected by the Rangers in the fourth round (No. 69) in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.  He began his NHL career with San Jose in 1991 after spending one season with the San Diego Gulls of the International Hockey League.  Prior to turning pro, Sullivan attended Boston University, where he skated in 141 games and registered 61 goals and 138 points over four seasons.
Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres