Tag: Steve Sullivan

Steve Sullivan

Sullivan ‘99.9 percent’ sure he’s going to retire


The 2013 season may have been the last for Steve Sullivan.

The veteran forward, who turned 39 in early July, said that while he’s not ready to officially announce his plans for the future, he’s very close to having reached a decision.

“I wouldn’t say 100%, but 99.9%,” he told the Timmins Daily Press about the possibility of retiring. “I’ve had an unbelievable run.”

Sullivan split last year between Phoenix and New Jersey — the Devils acquired him at the trade deadline — and he had a decent campaign, scoring 17 points in 42 games.

But with August creeping up and only “very informal” discussions with a few teams about employment for next season, Sullivan is ready to acknowledge his 17-year career could be coming to a close.

Sullivan appeared in over 1,000 NHL contests and enjoyed some banner seasons playing with Chicago and Nashville during the 2K era. He scored a career-high 34 goals with the Blackhawks in 2000-01 and, in the first year following the 2004-05 lockout, put up a 31-goal, 68-point effort in his first full season with the Predators.

(That’s not to say his half-season in Nashville wasn’t any good. After being acquired from Chicago during the 2003-04 season, he posted 30 points in 24 games.)

While he’s not looking to get into coaching anytime soon — “not a very stable position,” he says — Sullivan is hoping to remain active in the game.

“When the day comes, when we do announce the retirement, I definitely would love to stay in the game in some form, or fashion, for sure,” he explained.

Devils GM’s goal: sign major free agents before July 5


One look at the New Jersey Devils’ salary structure and it becomes clear that GM Lou Lamoriello has a lot to work to do this summer. The long-time executive told the Bergen Record that the goal is to lock up a bevy of players before the free agent period kicks in on July 5.

“In my opinion, they have to be done before that,” Lamoriello said.

The Devils’ list of free agents is staggering. Here are some of the most noteworthy names:


Patrik Elias
Dainius Zubrus
David Clarkson
Marek Zidlicky
Peter Harrold
Steve Sullivan
Alexei Ponikarovsky
Tom Kostopoulos


Matt D’Agostini
Jacob Josefson
Adam Henrique
Andrei Loktionov

Lamoriello said that D’Agostini isn’t likely to be re-signed and the same is true for Sullivan (who is reportedly “mulling over” retirement). Ponikarovsky seems to be a lower priority consideration while he claims that all RFAs other than D’Agostini will be locked up.

It could be a bumpy offseason for the Devils, especially if they decide to make other decisions about their future. (Both of their aging goalies only have one more year left on their contracts, for instance.)

As far as the draft is concerned, Lamoriello said he’d prefer to land a scoring forward.

What does the future hold for small players?

Martin St. Louis

Like speedboats among freighters, the majority of undersized hockey players who made it to the NHL did so because they were quicker and more agile than their larger, more powerful counterparts.

But what does the future hold for those that hope to emulate the likes of Tyler Ennis, Jeff Skinner, Steve Sullivan, Cory Conacher, Brian Gionta, and Nathan Gerbe?

Because according to Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock, the freighters of the NHL aren’t so slow and cumbersome anymore.

“The difference that I’ve seen in the last three years is, all the big players can skate like the little guys,” said Hitchcock, per Sportsnet’s Mark Spector.

And as if that wasn’t troubling enough for diminutive types, at least one general manager believes the way the game is played (and called) has started once again to favor the bigger player, as it did before the 2004-05 lockout.

“When I took this job, we decided on a style of play that resulted in great success,” said Canucks GM Mike Gillis last week after his team was swept out of the playoffs. “And clearly, the landscape has changed and we have to address those changes. We don’t have a choice. It’s not something I necessarily agree with. But that’s what we face, and that’s what you have to do.

“We have to make the changes and adjustments necessary to compete for a Stanley Cup. It’s my intention to do it and recognize what’s going on and make sure we have a team that’s better equipped.”

Gillis knows better than anyone that the last two teams to win the Stanley Cup did it with size and strength, since both the Bruins and Kings beat Vancouver.

Not that Boston and Los Angeles are bereft of skill; obviously, they aren’t. But there’s no question they favor a heavier, more physical game.

The worry for Canucks fans is that Gillis is overreacting based on a small sample size. What if the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup this year? Chicago finished the regular season ranked 30th in hits. Patrick Kane isn’t a giant. Neither is Jonathan Toews. The ‘Hawks are a great team because they have the puck all the time, and they know what to do with it.

Of course, Kane was drafted first overall, while Toews went third. They aren’t your typical players. Nor, for that matter, is Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis, the league’s top scorer. The reason he’s such a great story is because not many small, undrafted players do what he’s done.

Perhaps Gillis feels that, absent a blue-chip draft position, getting bigger and stronger is his best option in an NHL where big and strong doesn’t have to mean big and slow anymore.