Sullivan returns as a Lightning assistant
As we have been reporting, Mike Sullivan, as of Tuesday, is returning as a Lightning assistant coach. From the team: Former Tampa Bay Lightning Associate Coach Mike Sullivan has returned to the team and will serve as associate coach to Interim Head Coach Rick Tocchet, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced. In addition, Assistant Coach Cap Raeder will become goaltending coach and oversee the development of the organization’s netminders in Tampa Bay , Norfolk of the American Hockey League and Augusta of the ECHL, as well as unsigned prospects in the system. Wes Walz remains as an assistant coach on Tocchet’s staff. “We are excited to add Mike to our coaching staff,” Lawton said. “He’s been here and knows the players well, and he’s an upgrade to the overall quality of our coaching. Mike is highly respected throughout the league and has been successful as a head coach at the NHL, AHL and International levels.” Prior to joining the Lightning for the 2007-08 season, Sullivan served as head coach for the U.S. Men’s team at the 2007 World Championships in Russia . In his first season as head coach of the Boston Bruins in 2003-04, Sullivan led the team to the Northeast Division title and the second-best record in the Eastern Conference with a mark of 41-19-15-7 and 104 points. In his sophomore year with Boston Sullivan led them to a 29-37-16 record. In 164 regular season games as a head coach he had a record of 70-56-15-23 with a 3-4 playoff record. Sullivan joined Boston after spending one season as head coach of their top American Hockey League affiliate in Providence , Rhode Island . Under his guidance the P-Bruins captured their third division title as they won the North Division with a 44-20-11-5 record and 104 points. That season they ranked third overall in the AHL in offense with 268 goals and established a franchise record with a 19-game home unbeaten streak from December 6 until February 23, posting a 16-0-3-0 record during that span. Following his stint with Providence he was named the assistant coach of the NHL’s Bruins on March 20, 2003 under then interim head coach Mike O’Connell. He coached in Boston for the final nine games of the regular season as the Bruins posted a 3-3-3-0 record and were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals before he returned to Providence to finish the season. A native of Marshfield , Massachusetts , Sullivan played four seasons of college hockey at Boston University from 1986-87 until 1989-90. He scored 61 goals and recorded 138 points in 141 career college games. He was drafted by the New York Rangers as their fourth pick, 69th overall, in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, though he never signed with them. He began his NHL career in August of 1991 when he signed a free agent contract with the San Jose Sharks after spending one season with the San Diego Gulls of the International Hockey League. Sullivan went on to play 11 seasons in the NHL and scored 54 goals with 136 points in 709 games during his playing career.