Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Associate coach Mike Sullivan remains with Tampa Bay Lightning … for now

Mike Sullivan

Mike Sullivan

The Lightning is holding the door open for associate coach Mike Sullivan. But general manager Brian Lawton said this week, "It wouldn't shock me if we had to be prepared to move in another direction."

Sullivan's working relationship with coach Rick Tocchet was one of the bright spots in a disappointing season. But the former Bruins bench boss wants another head coaching gig.

Sullivan, 41, is under contract through June 30, but Lawton has given him permission to investigate, and the Oilers and Wild jobs are open.

He also has permission to explore assistant jobs if they get him closer to his Massachusetts home. The Rangers and coach John Tortorella, under whom Sullivan worked in Tampa Bay, are believed interested.

Lawton said he will give Sullivan about two weeks before beginning the process of finding a replacement, though he will not shut Sullivan out.

"He wanted to weigh all his options, and he wasn't ruling anything out," Lawton said. "In the meantime, we will continue to do our due diligence. If he were fortunate enough to get a head coaching position, we have to be prepared to act and act quickly. But as of right now, Mike Sullivan would be welcomed back."

Sullivan, who last season had the thankless job of working with a tattered defense, would not say anything about his job prospects beyond that he is "exploring" his options and will make "the best decision for me and my family."

He did, however, have high praise for Tocchet and said Tampa Bay made the right move taking the interim label off his title.

"Toc did a terrific job in real tough circumstances," Sullivan said. "I think he commands a lot of respect not only because of the type of player he was, but because he did a hell of a job as coach. It was a well-deserved move for him."

Prospect signed: The Lightning signed center Mitch Fadden to a standard three-year rookie contract. Drafted 107th overall (fourth round) in 2007, Fadden, 21, had 37 goals and 76 points in 63 games last season for Tri-City and Lethbridge of the junior Western Hockey League.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com.

Associate coach Mike Sullivan remains with Tampa Bay Lightning … for now 05/13/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 14, 2009 7:27am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs rookies Beckwith, McNichols cleared for training camp

    Blogs

    The Bucs took a calculated risk on two injured players that were discounted in the NFL draft and it may pay off.

    LSU linebacker Kendell Beckwiith (51) fell to the third round after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a game against Florida Nov. 19.
  2. Rays can't wave white flag

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Buck Showalter and his Baltimore Bladders were back at it against the Rays on Tuesday night at the Trop, where, the whole world knows by now, there is no bathroom in the visitors bullpen. Showalter, who mentioned it after the Orioles won Monday, agreed with us before the game: They ought to have a …

    Alex Cobb chases down a grounder by Texas Rangers right fielder Nomar Mazara in the fourth inning of Friday's game at Tropicana Field.
  3. Tim Beckham jumps into right fielder Steven Souza Jr.'s arms after his three-run home run in the second inning.
  4. Want elite college football athletes? Recruit Tampa Bay

    Blogs

    Now that college football watch list season is over (I think), here's one takeaway you probably already knew: Tampa Bay produces a lot of great athletes.

    Robinson High produuct Byron Pringle has gone from this performance in a high school all-star game to all-Big 12 at Kansas State.
  5. ESPN's Dick Vitale, shown at One Buc Place last year when he announced a Bucs draft pick, has high hopes for Tampa Bay this fall, predicting a 10-6 record for the Bucs.