Peter Laviolette was hired on Tuesday to coach the Washington Capitals.
“I am grateful and excited for the opportunity to run this hockey club,” said Laviolette. “This is a winning organization with high expectations. I look forward to coaching this great group of players and bringing my experience and vision to the team.”
Laviolette replaces Todd Reirden, who was fired on August 23 after the Capitals were eliminated by the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 4-0 loss in Game 5 on August 20. It was the second. Right season the Capitals lost in the first round of the playoffs after finishing first in the Metropolitan Division each season.
After firing Reirden, Capitals CEO Brian MacLellan said he wanted to hire an experienced coach to get more out of an experienced left-wing squad. Alex Ovechkin, who turns 35 on September 17, mid Nicklas Backstrom, who turns 33 on November 23, right wing TJ Oshie, who turns 34 on December 23, and defender John Carlson, which turns 31 on January 10.
Laviolette fits that description.
The 55-year-old has coached 18 seasons in the NHL with the New York Islanders (2001-2003) Carolina Hurricanes (2003-2008), Philadelphia Flyers (2009-2013), and Nashville Predators (2014-2020), going 637-425 -123 with 25 draws and 11 times qualifying for the play-offs. Laviolette won the Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006 and reached the Stanley Cup final in 2010 with Philadelphia before losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games and in 2017 to Nashville, losing six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Laviolette, of Franklin, Massachusetts, has had 637 NHL wins, the second most US-born coaches behind John Tortorella’s 655.
“Peter is a successful NHL head coach who has won a Stanley Cup and brings a wealth of experience to our team,” said Brian MacLellan, Capitals CEO. “We feel he is a great communicator who will motivate our players to play with passion, structure and discipline, while helping our young players reach their potential. In addition, he is a high quality individual who is well respected for his coaching pedigree. , all of that makes him the ideal person to lead our team to compete for the Stanley Cup. ”
Laviolette was fired after six seasons in Nashville on January 6 and replaced by John Hynes after the Predators were 19-15-7 in their first 41 games this season.
Nashville was 248-143-60 in 451 regular season games under Laviolette and won the Presidents’ Trophy for best record in the NHL in 2017-18 when they were 53-18-11 with 117 points.
During the Ovechkin era, which began when the left wing entered the NHL in 2005, the Capitals hired only one other coach with previous NHL experience. That was when they hired Barry Trotz, Laviolette’s Nashville predecessor, in 2014.
Trotz coached for four seasons in Washington and led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup in 2018, but he resigned after that season when he was unable to sign a new contract and was hired by the Islanders. Reirden, Trotz’s associate / assistant for four seasons, was promoted to replace him and coached the Capitals for two seasons.
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