A Message From Mike Sullivan: Thank You, Pittsburgh – NHL.com

Pittsburgh is special. The city represents so many facets of what a organisation believes. We trust in tough work. We evangelise humility. We count on any other. We take honour in a accomplishments. There’s appreciation for those around us in a community. This village rallies and shows resiliency in a face of adversity.

I can’t contend adequate about how many times a organisation responded a right approach to adversity.  They roughly became too assured in late comebacks and their volatile nature. They finished life sparkling – well, for we – for me, they substantially took a few years off my life. More than anything, though, they came to a course any singular day with an invariable work ethic and an omnivorous ardour to win. I’ve pronounced it many times, and I’ll contend it again given it is a truth: The coaches honour and admire these players so much.

No one played some-more hockey over a past 3 years than this group, a lot of high-pressure playoff hockey, no less. we take comfort in meaningful that even during a many severe times, a players kept going. Those players squeezed any unit of appetite they had to keep a three-peat wish alive. 

We can’t make that occur now.  But we can take a small additional time this off-season to consider about what is next, and that’s important. For some guys in a room, it is new territory. The immature guys know how honeyed a prerogative can be, though this is their initial knowledge with a green ambience of defeat.  

I hatred losing. Sometimes we consider that we hatred losing some-more than we suffer winning. So we can suppose how we have felt over a final week as I’ve attempted to digest a opposite form of losing, one that leaves we with an dull feeling. We’ll learn from it, certainly, though we also wish a guys to remember and deteriorate all that they’ve accomplished. It hurts now, though when I’ve had a possibility to lay outward on my deck, cigar in one palm and a Guinness in a other, I’ll positively conclude what these players and coaches have achieved over a past few years.

I’m large into reading, and a quote subsequent from mythological Green Bay Packers conduct manager Vince Lombardi is one of my favorites:

“If we follow soundness we might locate excellence.”

All season, we kept reminding a organisation that we had a possibility to accomplish something special. we constantly asked a players to welcome a challenge. We weren’t perfect, and we didn’t strech a ultimate goal. But I’ve come to conclude a many ways a organisation has achieved excellence.

Our organisation enjoys a good joining from a tenure group, led by Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, a twin peaceful to yield us all a resources indispensable to win. Their prophesy is executed by Jim Rutherford and his staff on a hockey side, and David Morehouse and Travis Williams on a business end. All of those good leaders put a players and coaches in a best probable position to be means to win on a unchanging basis, that isn’t easy to do in this epoch of salary-cap parity.

But value isn’t only totalled by winning and losing games on a ice. Excellence as a authorization includes a joining off a ice to assistance make your village a improved place. we unequivocally trust that a organisation has finished this. All teams face a exhausting report any year, nonetheless we can’t state how unapproachable we am as their conduct manager whenever we spin on a TV or go online and see a players holding a time to give behind to a community. we can't contend adequate certain things about what a guys do off a ice to give behind to a Pittsburgh region.

We’re advantageous here in Pittsburgh. Fortunate as coaches, and advantageous as fans, to have a core of players that yield a substructure to give us a rival advantage. we contend this all a time – and this is something that we don’t consider we can contend adequate – though that rival advantage starts during a tip with a captain, Sidney Crosby. As we saw roughly nightly during a playoffs, he’s an moving guy, someone that a rest of a organisation can demeanour adult to.

Luckily for us, Sid is not alone. Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel are both entrance off superb seasons. Having Sid and Geno, and a healthy Derick Brassard allows a strength of a organisation to sojourn down a middle. I’m blissful we were means to get Patric Hornqvist signed. His appetite and participation is such a outrageous boost for a club, a players feed off him. Jake Guentzel is a intelligent actor who knows how to navigate a tough areas to measure goals, that we saw mostly in a playoffs. Kris Letang is going to advantage from a healthy offseason, we have no doubt he’ll lapse even stronger. Matt Murray battled a ton of personal adversity this year to give us a possibility to win any night. He is a two-time champ who we trust is one of a best goaltenders in this league. 

Moving forward, given rosters change and teams evolve, we’re going to once again need a immature players to step adult and addition a core. One approach that will occur is some of a younger players that have been a partial of a success contingency take that subsequent step into bigger care roles for a club. We’re also going to need a subsequent stand of players from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to come adult and impact a lineup. we know Coach Clark Donatelli, along with his staff and a growth team, have finished an glorious pursuit scheming those players for that transition. 

Successful as it is, we can assure we that this classification is not satisfied. My faith is that being separated this year will yield proclivity for a organisation to wish to win even more. I’m certain some of a media folks get sleepy of conference me contend any day it’s tough to win in a National Hockey League given any organisation has good players. But that isn’t only coach-speak, or me giving a batch answer; it’s something we truly believe. It unequivocally is tough to win in this league. 

After this year’s playoffs, we schooled that doctrine a tough way. we can’t relate adequate that nobody hates losing some-more than me. Just ask my coaching staff. Or my wife. This is a initial time given I’ve been here that we haven’t wrapped adult a deteriorate with a march down a Boulevard of a Allies. Many of a players only gifted losing a playoff array during a NHL turn for a initial time. But this is a organisation that will continue to follow perfection. 

The coaches will be doing all we can over these summer months to find ways to assistance urge a team. we know we can pronounce for a whole staff when we contend that we will work to find ways to maximize a intensity of this organisation of players. We entirely welcome that partial of a process.

When a organisation earnings for training stay in September, they will know a goal. It will be a same as any organisation in a NHL: to win a Stanley Cup. We’ve been advantageous to knowledge a pristine fun that comes from accomplishing that goal. This summer, we now know a pain of being one of a teams on a other side, one of a 30 that doesn’t get to applaud with a Cup.

Reaching an ultimate idea like we were means to do in 2016 and ’17 requires some-more than only good players. What we am many looking brazen to when a organisation earnings for training stay in Sep is carrying a event to play before a biggest fans in hockey, in what I’ve come to learn is one of a good sports cities in America. There is no improved feeling than meaningful any time we take a ice, we do so behind a invariable support of this fan base. Trust me, we’re really beholden for that. It’s something we don’t take for granted. It reinforces a joining to wish to make this city proud.

On interest of a whole Pittsburgh Penguins organization, we wish to appreciate we for once again being a biggest fans in hockey! We can’t wait to see we in September. 120 Days. Just over 17 Weeks. It seems long, though a relate of your cheers will be shrill adequate for me to hear until we accommodate again.

-Mike Sullivan

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