The head coaching candidate rumored to be near the top of the Nashville Predators list for the past several weeks was officially hired by the team today.
Most recently the bench boss of the Philadelphia Flyers, Peter Laviolette won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and lost in the Finals with the Flyers in 2010. Long rumored to be the leading candidate for the job, Nashville has officially signed Laviolette to a multi-year deal and brought in Kevin McCarthy as an assistant coach.
“I love the nucleus of this team, starting on the back end with two of the best players at their positions in defenseman Shea Weber and goaltender Pekka Rinne, in addition to a solid group of dependable veterans and talented, rising young talent,” Laviolette said in a Predators press release. “My challenge will be to impart a system that enables our young forwards to thrive and reach their offensive potential. Being a perennial Stanley Cup contender requires buy-in, passion and commitment from every player on the roster. I can’t wait to get to Nashville and get started on our journey.”
The Predators general manger David Poile also commented on the hiring of just the second coach in franchise history:
“Having reached the peak as a Stanley Cup Champion, Peter knows the intensity and urgency it will take to help our team reach its ultimate goal,” Poile said. “He is a great hockey mind who not only has a winning resume, but has done it with an aggressive offensive philosophy while also excelling in helping young players reach their potential. We look forward to Peter instilling his culture in Nashville immediately following his duties coaching the United States at the 2014 World Championship.”
Here are some quick thoughts on why this is a great hiring for the team:
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.