Mike Sullivan’s season is over, and the Pittsburgh Penguins coach says he won’t be going back to the AHL for the playoffs.
Here’s what you need to know:Sullivan, who is entering his second season as the Penguins head man after leading the team to the Stanley Cup in 2017-18, said Thursday that he’ll retire as an NHL coach in the offseason, a decision that was made after his Penguins beat the Minnesota Wild in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final.
He said that he would like to play in the NHL again someday and was thrilled with the work that his teammates did for him.
But he also acknowledged that it will be tough to do it.
“You can’t say, ‘I’m not going to be here.’
You just can’t,” Sullivan said.
“I have to do everything I can.
You can’t go back to school.
You’ve got to get a job, and I can’t do that.”
In a video released Friday, Sullivan said he has been a “good person” in the past and will continue to be one, but said he had been forced to move on from some friends, family and friends he worked with.
“I was like, ‘If I’m going to leave this business, I’m not leaving my friends.
I’m leaving this community,'” Sullivan said in the video.
“And I have to go back and do that and I have had a great time.
But at the same time, I also have to be real and I need to put the past behind me and I’m just going to keep going forward.”
And I can do that because this team is a lot better than I was at this point in time.
This team has some really good players.
It’s a group that I think is going to make it to the finals.
“There’s not a lot of pressure on me.
I can just keep moving forward and be an NHL player and go get another job, but I know this team will make it and I want to be a part of that.”
Sullivan’s last season was filled with ups and downs, with the Penguins finishing the year with a record of 15-20-1.
He guided Pittsburgh to the playoffs in 2017, and his team won the Presidents’ Trophy and reached the Stanley Final in 2019.
He also was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy, given to the NHL’s top coach for the most outstanding coach.
But after a season in which Pittsburgh missed the playoffs, the Penguins went into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern conference, and Sullivan was ousted in the first round.
“We knew it was going to happen.
It was something we all knew,” Sullivan told the Penguins website after the season.
“We all wanted it to happen and it’s just something that we’re just going try to move past and move on.”
The Penguins also lost the Stanley Trophy to the Boston Bruins, who finished the season with a 20-20 record and missed the postseason with a 25-20 win over the Pittsburgh Panthers in Game 7 of the Stanley Playoffs.
“To be honest with you, I just wanted to go to a good team,” Sullivan added.
“To be a leader, I had to go out there and be the best I could be and that’s what I did.”