Coach Mike Sullivan gets the Kiss of Death from Pittsburgh GM Kyle Dubas

Published December 11, 2023 at 2:46 PM

It's one of those weird things in hockey that has happened so many times that it's hard to deny its impact. With the Pittsburgh Penguins sputtering and losses mounting, GM Kyle Dubas responded to calls to fire head coach Mike Sullivan.

In true professional fashion, Dubas said he doesn't believe Sullivan is the problem, and he's sticking with him.

"As soon as a team doesn't reach its potential, it seems that right away the attention shifts to coaching... What I would say to that is, with Sully, I had my impression of him coming in and my respect for him coming in - being with him every day and not only seeing his attention to detail on the systems, but also his attention to detail with the players and coaching them individually and personally, I think we're very fortunate to have Mike. And so, do I think that he's the right person for this job now and far into the future? I absolutely do."

That all sounds great, and it's exactly what many NHL GMs have said about their coaches right before canning them and bringing in someone new. It is the proverbial Kiss of Death that we've heard so many times before.

With an 11-12-3 record, the Penguins are just two points ahead of the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets, who are dead last in the Metropolitan Division. The reality is, if the team doesn't improve, heads are going to roll, and it's almost always the coach who is the first to go.

December 11   |   956 answers
Coach Mike Sullivan gets the Kiss of Death from Pittsburgh GM Kyle Dubas

Will Sullivan last the season in Pittsburgh?

Yes36638.3 %
No49351.6 %
Not sure9710.1 %
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