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Penguins Coach Mike Sullivan Granted Contract Extension

USATSI_9750346_154158418_lowresThe Pittsburgh Penguins have signed head coach Mike Sullivan to a three-year contact extension, the team announced Monday.

The new deal takes Sullivan through to the 2019-2020 season.

The 48-year-old took over as head coach of the Penguins in December of 2015 after the firing of Mike Johnston. He’d been serving as the coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL.

The Penguins went on to win the Stanley Cup for the fourth time in their history, knocking off the San Jose Sharks in six games.

Sullivan became the sixth American-born coach in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup and his Penguins went 16-8 in the post-season in 2016. He’s helmed the franchise to a 55-24-10 regular season record since taking over.

“We’re only a few months away from him entering his [current contract’s] final year,” general manager Jim Rutherford said. “I felt he did the best coaching job in the league last year and he’s continued to do it. He’s a guy that can relate and communicate with our players, so this is good not only for the Penguins but also for him, knowing [he has] security here in Pittsburgh.”

The Penguins are currently 22-8-5, good for second in the tough Metropolitan Division behind the Columbus Blue Jackets. They’ve scored a league-leading 121 goals for and have allowed 100 goals against thus far.

Evgeni Malkin is leading the team in scoring with 39 points in 35 games, while Sidney Crosby has 38 points in 29 games.

The Penguins are 7-1-2 over their last 10 games and face off against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

“It’s nice to have some assurance and certainty,” Sullivan said of the contract extension. “To be a part of the Penguins for me has been a privilege. It’s a great organization to work for”

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