Sullivan joined Tampa at the end of May in 2007 and GM Jay Feaster said that Sullivan was the only guy that Tortorella wanted to talk to:
[sny-box color=E6F1FF]"From the very first day of the search process, Torts identified Mike as his primary candidate. In fact, John made it clear that he didn't even want to speak with any other potential candidates until he knew where things stood with Mike, because Sully was his first and 'go-to' choice. We appreciate the Boston Bruins granting us permission to speak with Mike and we are absolutely thrilled to welcome Mike to our organization." [/sny-box]
Tortorella added that he wanted to add Sullivan because of his past as a winner, both as a player and a coach, and “He is smart and aggressive and he understands the way we like to play the game; our team concept."
Tortorella coached Sullivan when he was a player with the Coyotes in the late 90s.