Now that Barry Trotz has moved on from the Nashville Predators, it’s time for the club to pick a new head coach that will bring the culture change they want.
Yesterday, Predators general manager David Poile offered some telling comments about the desired future course of his team.
“I want this team to play a different way, that’s why I thought this tough decision with Barry was best,” Poile said. “None of our players should take anything for granted. A new coach is going to be here and things like playing time shouldn’t be assumed.”
Statements made throughout the press conference by the GM indicated he truly is looking for some kind of larger culture change and an altering in the style of play that has left the Predators out of the playoffs each of the last two seasons.
Current assistant coaches Phil Housley and Lane Lambert have to still be considered as candidates to replace Trotz as the Predators next bench boss, but the comments made by Nashville’s GM seem to indicate that the team would like to hire outside of the organization in order to bring the necessary change to Nashville.
So who should be the next man running the show in Nashville? Meet Peter Laviolette:
About Laviolette: The former Philadelphia Flyers coach has led two teams to the Stanley Cup Finals, most recently the Flyers in 2010 (where he lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks) and the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 (where he defeated the Edmonton Oilers in seven games). Laviolette was fired after just three games in Philadelphia this season and has been waiting for his next opportunity behind the bench. In thirteen years at the NHL level, the coach has a career winning percentage of .570 to go with his two cup runs.
Locker Room Manner: Laviolette has long been known as a fiery and passionate manager, quite a bit different than Trotz’s style. An in-your-face type of leader, the coach is not afraid to confront an underachieving player or throw a tirade behind the bench in order to get the results he demands.
Different Style: Much like the change in leadership style Laviolette would bring, the potential Predators coach would also do quite a bit of tinkering on how the Predators play. A fan of an open style of attack that needs top offensive style players–for good or bad–Nashville wouldn’t be involved in as many one-goal games as they have been in years past if Laviolette takes the helm.
Tiring Message: A review of Laviolette wouldn’t be complete without a glance at perhaps his biggest weakness. Fired by two franchises in the last five years, the 49-year-old’s disciplinarian style is more apt to become stale than some other coaches’ managing styles. When things go south and tempers flare, sometimes Laviolette’s “temper tantrums” can be a bit over the top.
If the Nashville Predators really want the type of changes that Poile has hinted at, then it’s time to shake things up, and Laviolette is the best man to bring results quickly.