Player Development & How They Learn with Mike Sullivan — Development Coach, Chicago Blackhawks
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USA Hockey High Performance Symposium presentation on player development through practice structures tailored to fit how players learn.
Mike Sullivan joined the Chicago Blackhawks organization as a player development coach in 2014. He began coaching professional hockey during the 2002-03 season, when he was named head coach of the AHL’s Providence Bruins. In his only season with the club before ascending to the NHL, his team notched a 41-17-9-4 record.
In 2013, Sullivan was a Vancouver Canucks assistant coach, an appointment that followed a four-year stint as an assistant coach with the New York Rangers. In 2011-12, he helped guide the club to its first Prince of Wales trophy, emblematic of the NHL’s Eastern Conference championship, since 1993-94.
Prior to his time in the Big Apple, Sullivan spent two seasons as a Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach. From 2003-06, he was the Boston Bruins’ head coach. In his first season with Boston, he guided the Bruins to a 41-19-15-7 record and a first-place finish in the Northeast Division.
Sullivan has also coached on the international stage, having served as an assistant coach of the 2006 United States Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, head coach of the 2007 U.S. Men’s National Team and assistant coach of the 2008 U.S. Men’s National Team.
Before embarking on a coaching career, Sullivan was drafted 69th overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers and enjoyed an 11-year NHL playing career. He amassed 136 points in 709 games.
As a collegiate forward, Sullivan played four seasons at Boston University. He also competed for Team USA at the 1988 IIHF World Junior Championship in Moscow, alongside fellow Massachusetts natives Ted Crowley, Ted Donato, Jeremy Roenick, Darren Turcotte and C.J. Young.