BOSTON (CP) - The Boston Bruins relieved Mike Sullivan of his coaching duties Tuesday in an announcement that was hardly surprising given the team has been interviewing candidates to replace him.
New Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has interviewed former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn and former Detroit Red Wings coach Dave Lewis and planned to speak to other candidates as well.
The announcement Tuesday was made by Bruins interim GM Jeff Gorton as Chiarelli remains under contract with Ottawa until July 15.
''Peter had not met Mike prior to coming to Boston and he felt that it was incumbent upon him to get to know Mike before making a decision on the coaching situation,'' Gorton said in a statement. ''Mike went to Ottawa a couple of weeks ago and they had a good discussion about the game and how it needed to be played in order to have success. Peter advised Mike that he would be talking to other candidates. He went through that process and his decision was that at this time we are better served to have a clean slate.
''Peter communicated to us that he has talked to candidates and expects to give us his decision on a new head coach in the near future,'' added Gorton.
Sullivan, 38, became the 26th coach in Bruins history in June 2003. He went 70-56-15-23 for a .543 win percentage over his two seasons behind the Boston bench, including a 41-19-15-7 record during his first season in 2003-04, the top record in the Northeast Division and the second-best record in the Eastern Conference that season.
But the Bruins were upset by Montreal in 2004 playoffs and last season missed the post-season after going 29-37-16.
Speculation is former Leaf coach Pat Quinn is the front-runner to be offered the job, but if Quinn, for any reason, is unable to finalize a deal, former Detroit coach Dave Lewis appears to be next in line.