It's been four years since former NHL star Mike Sullivan took over for the Pittsburgh Penguins. In that time he's delivered four 100-plus point seasons, including back-to-back Stanley Cup victories between 2015 and 2017.
The Penguins and their fans have struck gold in Sullivan. He's not only brought the Penguins two cups, but he's managed to keep them competitive in one of the toughest divisions in the league. Well, the Penguins' vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford seems to realize how lucky his team is to have Sullivan behind the bench.
Hanging onto Mike Sullivan for another four years is a fantastic move for the Pens. While most other Metropolitan teams have cycled through coaches over the past few years, the Penguins have found someone to rely on in Sullivan.
However, Sullivan is going to have to prove that he can provide more to Pittsburgh and get them back to the class of the league. After a disappointing first-round exit in last year's postseason at the hands of the New York Islanders, the Penguins status amongst the league's elite has taken a bit of a drop.
Sullivan's team will look fairly similar at the start of next season. The biggest difference he'll have to deal with is obviously going to be the replacement of Phil Kessel.
The extension for the head coach should pay dividends in the long run. Although some may argue that Sullivan could've been extended for fewer years, the deal is a smart one for the Penguins.