Another interesting name to consider
Nashville Predators fans aren’t going to like this one, because his is a name that comes with a painful moment in history (for us): beating the Predators in our one trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Yup, I’m talking about Mike Sullivan of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He’s under contract through 2024, but as Greg Wyshynski of ESPN put in his “NHL head-coach hot seat heat index rankings: Who are the candidates to get fired next?” piece (by the way – Hynes’ seat is one of the hottest for obvious reasons), the Penguins are in “win now” mode, and anything short of a Stanley Cup may result in his dismissal by the new management in Pittsburgh.
This is especially the case because Sullivan would by no means be out of a job for very long, offsetting what the Penguins would have to pay him for the remainder of this contract.
Predators fans have a lot of reasons to dislike Sullivan (#SissonsScored), but do you know how many candidates are floating around with not one but two Stanley Cup championships on their resumé? Not many, if any.
Sure, Sullivan inherited a ready-made roster to compete with, but that roster got ousted in the first round the year prior to his hiring, and struggled to get over the second round hump after its Stanley Cup victory in 2009, until he entered the picture.
Sullivan may not have the experience we want for someone that will have to guide a rebuild, but he also hasn’t had the patience of ownership or a fanbase to be in such a situation – he’s always been in places where it was Stanley Cup or bust.
Still, he has the pedigree for greatness, both as an assistant, and as a head coach, and let’s face it: the guy wins.