Former Capitals head coach George (Red) Sullivan passed away this past Saturday night. He was 89. Sullivan was the Capitals second head coach in franchise history.
Sullivan took over for the Capitals inaugural head coach, Jim Anderson, in 1975, when Anderson was released by the Capitals after coaching just 54 games (4-45-5). Sullivan coached 18 games, going 2-16-0, but did not return to the organization for the 1975-1976 season.
Mr. Sullivan started his career in the National Hockey League during the Original Six era when he joined the Boston Bruins for the 1949-50 season. He went on to play 556 NHL games over 12 seasons with Boston, the Chicago Blackhawks, who he led in scoring for two consecutive years, and New York Rangers. In the NHL, he scored 107 goals and 239 assists for 346 points. He was once voted by NHL coaches as “hardest worker and hustler” in the league.
In addition to the Capitals, Mr. Sullivan coached the Rangers, the expansion Pittsburgh Penguins, and scouted for many years for Boston, the Philadelphia Flyers and NHL Central Scouting.
Sullivan played for the Hershey Bears from 1949-54 and averaged a remarkable 1.3 points per game in 226 career games (78 goals, 215 assists, 293 points). A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Sullivan produced 89 assists in 1953-54. That still stands as the AHL single-season record.
Hershey Bears release is here.