The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to a four year extension with head coach Mike Sullivan, the team announced today.

As Jim Rutherford publicly continued to downplay the importance of extending Sullivan multiple times this off-season, Rutherford and the organization have now gone all-in on Sullivan.


The four year extension begins at the conclusion of the 2019-2020 season and Sullivan is now under contract through the 2023-2024 season.

Sullivan who is believed to make around $2.75 million on his current contract, is set to enter this season as the 12th highest paid coach in the NHL.

The long-term commitment to Sullivan, who is now under contract for the next five seasons, is another win for Sullivan as the organization continues to try to dictate a roster around Sullivan’s belief of building a team with gritty 2-way players for next season. A belief that multiple 30-40 point players will win out over the 80-90 points Phil Kessel could get them on a yearly basis.

Sullivan had long been the primary driving force in the Penguins desire to trade Phil Kessel for almost two years now, which finally happened last week.

“Mike has done a great job delivering four, 100-plus point seasons with our team,” Jim Rutherford said in a released statement. “To win back-to-back Cups in this era speaks volumes of him as a coach. His instincts in managing the inter-workings of our team both on and off the ice has been impressive.”

What the extension does is end a big distraction and make a statement to the current group that this is Mike Sullivan’s team for the foreseeable future. It was always viewed around the league as an odd situation if Sullivan didn’t at least get the security of a 1-2 year extension.

In a league where coaches come and go and despite questions emerging that Sullivan started to lose the room last year, the four year extension is certainly the ultimate message from the organization they are all-in on Mike Sullivan during this window the team believes they still have with Sidney Crosby. [/hide]