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trike to Bakari Grant that effectively countered a

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BOSTON -- As the Stanley Cup glimmered in the foyer of Boston College High School on Wednesday afternoon, ?Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan stood a few steps away, signing autographs and taking pictures with former teachers, teammates, youth hockey players and complete strangers.A former student-athlete at BC High, Sullivan, now 48, brought the Stanley Cup to his old school on the first stop of his two-day tour with hockeys sacred chalice. Sitting in the corner, sporting a Penguins Stanley Cup championship hat, was Sullivans 79-year-old father, George. As he watched as his son become the center of attention (next to the Stanley Cup, of course), George quietly savored every moment of it.Its a dream come true -- unbelievable, George Sullivan said. I still keep pinching myself to make sure its real. Ive been his biggest fan all his life and I couldnt understand how he wasnt a head coach someplace. Finally, it worked out for him. Hes a hard-working kid. He got what he deserved.Mike Sullivans mother, Myrna, passed away last year. But his dad, wife Kate, and the couples three children -- Kaitlin, Kiley and Matthew -- have enjoyed this ride as a family. In fact, Sullivan says he has two families. He has one on the ice and one off the ice. Hes been celebrating the championship with both this summer.When Sullivan and his wife of 25 years started planning his days with the Cup, the couple wanted to share it with those who have helped mold Sullivans career as a player and coach. A few minutes after Sullivan carried the Stanley Cup into his former high school, he met with a few members of the current hockey team at BC High, including Eagles coach John Flaherty. Sullivans message to the team was meant to inspire the next generation of players, coaches or maybe even front-office personnel.Hes a great speaker. Hes a great motivator. He shares his wisdom with all ages, Flaherty said. Selfishly, I wanted my guys to hear from him just because I know what he said to them is going to be great. His message was about appreciating BC High and how the further you get away from BC High, the more you appreciate it. As hockey players, they can also look at a guy like Mike who was once in their shoes and played hockey in this program. And now look where he is.After ending their visit at BC High with a group picture on the steps of the school, Sullivan and his father escorted a convoy of vehicles across the city to Boston University, where Sullivan starred for four seasons from 1986-90.There, the Cup was placed on a table, and BU season-ticket holders lined up to have their pictures taken with it. And once again, George Sullivan sat off to the side and took it all in. Its been a great ride, he said.While the Penguins were in the midst of their Stanley Cup run, former teammates and youth coaches at different levels sent Sullivan texts and notes to wish him and his team good luck. He, his fellow coaches and his players were playing for those who had helped them reach that point in their careers. And now, sharing in that championship celebration is a token way to pay them back, especially his family members.People who arent associated with pro sports probably dont realize the sacrifices that families make so that guys like myself can chase their dreams, Sullivan said. Families go through a lot of emotional highs and lows during the course of a playing career, or a coaching career, and my family is no different. My wife has been the rock for our family through a very competitive, emotional roller-coaster career, whether as a player, or now as a coach. To have the opportunity to share this with my wife and kids -- and my dad, who has been with me from Day 1 and was my first coach and now probably one of my biggest fans -- ?is a great thrill.When Sullivan took over as head coach on Dec. 12, the Penguins were struggling and on the cusp of sliding out of playoff contention. He held a meeting with the entire team and then had a separate sit-down with the leadership core, including captain Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury. The new coach made it quite clear how he wanted the Penguins to play and what he expected from each player on a daily basis.The transformation didnt occur overnight, but the players eventually bought into Sullivans philosophy and the team found an identity. It became a family.You dont win championships without character people. And with our team, our players, we have an abundance [of them] in our dressing room, Sullivan said on Wednesday. It starts with our captain. I cant say enough about Sid and what he did for our group. But it doesnt stop there. Our team became a team in a true sense of the word; everybody made contributions to help this group win a championship, and that might be the most rewarding thing for the coaching staff.Matt Sullivan couldnt join the rest of his family for the Penguins celebration and parade in Pittsburgh because he has an internship with Lincoln Financial Group in Hartford, Conn., and he figured it was more important to work. It was a reflection of the type of dedication that his parents instilled in him at a young age. Its the same type of work ethic Sullivan expected from his players.Thats something I learned from him growing up is that work ethic is, bar none, the most important thing, said Matt Sullivan, who is a senior at Bowdoin College. I had a chance to go and hang out with the Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh or get some experience with my internship. It was a hard choice, ?but thankfully theyre letting me come hang with it for a few days, which is awesome.On Wednesday, when the Stanley Cup arrived at BU, Sullivans good friend and former college teammate David Quinn, who is the Terriers current head coach, met the family at the Zamboni entrance of Agganis Arena and escorted the party to a second-floor suite. Many in the crowd of nearly 500 people took turns over the next two hours stepping up onto a small stage and having their picture taken with the Cup. Sullivan stood close by with his family and greeted everyone with a smile when he was asked for an autograph or picture.In coaching, obviously Xs and Os are important, Quinn said. But its all people skills and how you manage people, and Mike knows how to deal with people. He knows how to make hard decisions and how to handle them in the right way, which is the key to this profession. We always have to make tough decisions and tell people things they dont want to hear, but its the way you go about doing it that will allow you to have success. And nobody does that better than Mike.That skill helped him develop that team identity and a sense of family with the Penguins.Without question, Quinn said. When you have that approach, and you deal with people the way he does, you saw that come together in Pittsburgh this year. Leadership is about one thing: Whoever you are leading, they have to know that you care about them. Once they know you care about them, they trust you. The players in Pittsburgh realized Mike cares about them and once he had that, they started trusting him -- and the proofs in the pudding.After his trip to BU, Sullivan brought the Cup to his home course at Marshfield Country Club, before heading home for a private family celebration. On Thursday, hes taking it to a local cancer center and his local church.If I can brighten the day of someone who may be having a difficult time, its worth it, Sullivan said. These next couple of days are going to be a huge thrill. Im going to try to embrace every moment with it. It never gets old.This has been the shortest offseason of Sullivans pro hockey career -- not that hes complaining. In addition to preparing for the 2016-17 season with the Penguins, he will also serve as an assistant coach for Team USA during the World Cup of Hockey next month in Toronto.He has also spent part of the summer in organizational meetings discussing what the Penguins need to do to defend their title.Where do we go from here? How do we challenge this group to repeat? Sullivan said. Its a very difficult task, and the history of the league shows it. So we know the challenges were faced with moving forward, and its our responsibility to meet those challenges and try to inspire this group again so that we can hopefully compete for the Stanley Cup championship next year.Well, theres one person Sullivan doesnt have to convince -- his father.Before the doors opened at Agganis Arena Wednesday afternoon, George Sullivan walked up to the Stanley Cup, with the Boston University backdrop behind him, and took a picture alongside his son.Lets bring it back next year, George said. China Jerseys Free Shipping . -- Matt Rupert scored once in regulation and again in the shootout as the London Knights extended their win streak to nine games by defeating the Owen Sound Attack 4-3 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League action. NFL Jerseys China . -- Bobby Ryan helped the U. http://www.cheapnfljerseyschinasupply.net/ . The Cincinnati Reds remain perfect with their speedy rookie outfielder in the starting lineup. Cheap Jerseys . 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