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Sully, No Murph (yet): Pens Fire Johnston, Hire Former Bruins Coach Mike Sullivan

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The latest NHL coaching casualty in Pittsburgh sees a former Bruins coach come back into the top slot at an NHL team. Mike Sullivan is the new coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The latest NHL coaching casualty has seen a Bruins connection.

Former Boston player and coach Mike Sullivan, who played for the Bruins for one season in 97/98 and coached them between 2002 and 2006, is the new Penguins coach after Pittsburgh fired Mike Johnston today.

Sullivan has been promoted from his role as head coach of the Pens' AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre, where he only arrived this season after many years as assistant coach in several NHL organisations, notably Tampa and Vancouver.

Sullivan had a mixed period as Boston coach, being eliminated in the conference quarter finals after winning the division in his first season and being fired in his second after failing to qualify for the playoffs in 03/04.

Pens GM Jim Rutherford said that the decision had been taken as Johnston has "underachieved" with the Pens this season, who currently sit ninth in the Eastern Conference and fifth in their division.

"I felt it was time for a coaching change. Our expectations are much higher with this group of players" said the Pens GM, who  also commended Sullivan for his "outstanding" job in Wilkes Barre and said that he was "ready to step in" after leading the Baby Pens to an 18-5 record so far this season..

Sullivan will take control of his first Pens game on Monday against Washington at the Consol Energy Center.