- Katie Strang, ESPN.com
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Rangers assistant coach Mike Sullivan's name has surfaced as a candidate for several head coaching vacancies throughout the league, but he insisted that he hasn't given a new opportunity much thought since the Rangers' exit from the playoffs Friday night.
"My whole mindset is the fact that I'm employed by the New York Rangers," he said Monday. "Do I have aspirations to be a head coach? Sure I do. I think we all do that are in this business. I've been there before, but I'm in a great situation here."
Because of Sullivan's history with Flames general manager Jay Feaster, dating back to their days together in Tampa Bay, speculation that he could end up in Calgary has gained the most traction. Sullivan was an assistant coach under John Tortorella while Feaster was GM of the Lightning in 2007-08. Sullivan also played for Calgary from 1993-97.
"I really haven't given it any thought, quite honestly. All my energy up to this point has been on the New York Rangers and trying to help this team win," said Sullivan, who was the head coach of the Boston Bruins for two seasons before being dismissed in 2006.
"Opportunities that may present themselves from a career standpoint moving forward, I'll deal with them as they come. Right now, from my perspective, it's been all about the Rangers."
One thing is clear. Tortorella has given him an emphatic blessing.
"He should be a head coach," Tortorella said. "No way I'd stand in front of him."
3hPierre LeBrun and Joe McDonald