340: Pittsburgh Penguins Coach Mike Sullivan on the Leadership Required to Win Back to Back Stanley Cups

By October 18, 2022Podcast

Pittsburgh Penguins Coach Mike Sullivan on the Leadership Required to Win Back-to-Back Stanley Cups

In this episode of the L3 Leadership podcast, you’ll hear our interview with Mike Sullivan, Coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. You’ll hear Mike talk about his favorite moments from both of his Stanley Cup runs, the lessons he’s learned from his leadership journey, how he turned around the Penguins so quickly and won two cups, his advice to his 20-year-old self, and more. Enjoy!

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‘Great players don’t win championships in this league, great teams win championships.’ -Mike Sullivan

3 Key Takeaways:
1. Mike talks about the best part of winning two Stanley Cup runs.
2. He talks about his journey as a hockey coach and some of the lessons he’s learned along the way.
3. He shares what he would tell his 20-year-old self if he knew then what he knows now.

About Mike: Mike Sullivan was named head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Dec. 12, 2015 when the team fired coach Mike Johnston. Sullivan was coaching the Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre before being promoted to the NHL club.

Sullivan was an assistant coach for the Vancouver Canucks for the 2013-14 season under coach John Tortorella. Prior to joining the Canucks, Sullivan was an assistant on Tortorella’s staff with the New York Rangers and, before that, was again an assistant for Tortorella with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Sullivan also served as head coach for the U.S. Men’s team at the 2007 World Championships in Russia. He also was an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team at the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.

Previously, Sullivan spent two years as head coach of the Boston Bruins. In his first season in 2003-04, Sullivan led the team to the Northeast Division title. 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. Following his stint with Providence, he was named the assistant coach of the NHL’s Bruins under then interim head coach Mike O’Connell.

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.

Connect with Mike:

Quotes from the Episode:

'Don't be so concerned about what other people think about you. Stick to your convictions.' -Mike Sullivan Click To Tweet
'It's hard to be a head coach in this league if you're not willing to make tough decisions.' -Mike SullivanClick To Tweet
'Great players don't win championships in this league, great teams win championships.' -Mike SullivanClick To Tweet
Sometimes as a head coach you have to gain control by relinquishing control by empowering others. -Mike SullivanClick To Tweet


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