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Sullivan Named Assistant Coach of 2008 U.S. Men's National Team

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey announced today that Mike Sullivan of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Kurt Kleinendorst of the Lowell Devils have been named assistant coaches of the 2008 U.S. Men’s National Team that will compete in the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship, May 2-18, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Quebec City, Quebec.

Sullivan, currently the assistant coach of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning, is making his third USA coaching appearance. Last year, he served as the head coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2007 IIHF World Championship in Moscow and Mytischi, Russia, while in 2006 he was an assistant coach under Peter Laviolette for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team at the Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

Sullivan is in his first season as the assistant coach of the Lightning. Prior to joining Tampa Bay, he spent two seasons (2003-05) as the Boston Bruins’ head coach after becoming the 26th head coach in team history on June 23, 2003. In his first season behind the Boston bench, Sullivan led the club to the Northeast Division title and the second-best record in the Eastern Conference with a 41-19-15-7 mark, 104 points and a .634 win percentage.

Sullivan came to Boston after serving one season as the head coach of the Bruins’ American Hockey League affiliate in Providence. Under his watch, Providence captured its third division title as it won the North Division with a 44-20-11-5 record. His record behind the Providence bench was 41-17-9-4 through March 20, 2003, when he was promoted to Boston as an assistant coach under interim head coach Mike O’Connell. Sullivan returned to Providence following the 2003 NHL playoffs and was behind the bench for the final three games of Providence’s four-game AHL playoff series loss.

Sullivan played four seasons of college hockey at Boston University (1986-90) and totaled 138 points (61-77) in 141 games. He was the New York Rangers’ fourth pick (69th overall) in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.

Sullivan played 11 years in the NHL (1991-2002) with San Jose, Calgary, Boston and Phoenix. During that time he scored 54 goals and added 82 assists in 709 games.

Sullivan is an active supporter of hockey in the United States. Among his many efforts, he took part in USA Hockey’s 2005 National Hockey Coaches Symposium in Grand Rapids, Mich. There, he delivered a presentation titled “Teaching the Intellectual Side of Hockey and the Use of Small Games” to coaches working to achieve their Level 5 coaching certification, the highest level offered by USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program.

Kleinendorst, who was a member of the 1981 U.S. Men’s National Team and also played for Team USA during its 1984 pre-Olympic tour, is making his first coaching appearance for the United States.

He is currently completing his second season as head coach of the Lowell Devils of the American Hockey League, the top development team of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

Kleinendorst joined the Devils organization on August 22, 2000, and was an assistant to Larry Robinson in New Jersey for the 2000-01 season. He then served for five seasons as a member of the club’s scouting staff until being named the first-ever head coach of the Lowell Devils with the start of the 2006-07 campaign.

Prior to joining the Devils, he spent three seasons (1997-2000) as general manager/coach of the Manchester (U.K.) Storm, leading the team to the Super League Championship, while also receiving coach of the year honors during his second season. Kleinendorst served two terms spanning five seasons as head coach/director of hockey operations for the Raleigh Ice Caps (ECHL) -- 1991-94 and 1995-97 -- and was named the league’s top coach in 1992-93. He spent the 1994-95 campaign as assistant coach/assistant general manager of the IHL’s San Diego Gulls.

Kleinendorst began his coaching career in 1989 as president/founder of the Salt Lake City, Utah-based North American Sports, Inc., where he was responsible for teams of select college and professional players that participated in a series of tours throughout Europe.

He played two seasons in Europe -- with the Rotterdam Pandas (Netherlands) in 1987-88 and Iserlohn (Germany) and Peliitat (Finland) in 1986-87. Kleinendorst played professional hockey in North America for parts of five seasons between 1983-1990 in the Central Hockey League, American Hockey League and International Hockey League, including a nine-game stint in 1987-88 with the AHL’s Utica Devils.

Kleinendorst played four seasons (1979-83) at Providence College, and was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997. As a senior, he earned All-America honors, was named ECAC Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

NOTES: USA Hockey announced other staff members of the 2008 U.S. Men’s National Team, including Jim Johannson, assistant executive director, hockey operations, USA Hockey; Bob Webster, Team Leader; Nigel Kirwan, Video Coordinator; Stan Wong and Tom Mulligan, athletic trainers; Joe Guilmet, equipment manager; Ainars Treiguts, massage therapist; and Dave Fischer, director of media and public relations, USA Hockey … John Tortorella, head coach of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, has been previously announced as the head coach of the 2008 U.S. Men’s National Team … The 2008 U.S. Men’s National Team is under the direction of Jim Johannson and a four-member advisory group, including NHL general managers Brian Burke (Anahiem), David Poile (Nashville), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh) and Don Waddell (Atlanta). Tony Rossi, vice president of USA Hockey and its international council chair, oversees all aspects of international competition for USA Hockey … Team USA will conduct a training camp from April 24-30 in Portland, Maine, including a pre-tournament game against Sweden on Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m. (EDT) at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Tickets for that game can be acquired by visiting … USA Hockey expects to announce its preliminary roster for the 2008 U.S. Men’s National Team next week.


Source: USA Hockey

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