Just over 24 hours into his tenure as the head coach of the Nashville Predators, a lot has already been promised of Peter Laviolette.
The second coach in the history of the franchise, Laviolette’s .570 career winning percentage, 2006 Stanley Cup win and “more offensive” system have all been touted by Predators general manager David Poile.
Today, Laviolette was able to explain for himself how his preferred style of play should bring more goals to the Predators.
“My system has been successful for many years. Primarily, instead of having one guy forward, I send two. The main thing I do is send guys in on the attack,” Laviolette said. “I don’t want people to think I’m going to come in and play reckless hockey. We are going to play fast and aggressive, but we’re not going to give up a ton of opportunities either. The more you play offense, the less you have to play defense.”
Currently in Belarus where he is serving with Team USA at the 2014 World Championships, the new bench boss in Nashville outlined the strategy that has brought success to his teams in the past.
“I like a team that works hard together; a team that is looking to be on the attack,” Laviolette said. “I totally believe in a team that goes in on the forecheck and forces turnovers, not in a reckless way of course. The identity a coach believes in is what can really make a team successful. I tired to describe to David that I like my team to always push forward.”
Nashville has been filling their talent pool with younger and more-offensively-talented forwards the past couple seasons and Poile thinks that Laviolette should be able to push players like Calle Jarnkrok and Filip Forsberg to the next level. The new head coach of the Predators agreed with the GM’s sentiments and praised the up-and-coming players in Nashville’s system.
“When you’re out of coaching you refresh and charge, but you’re eager to get back into it,” Laviolette said. “This organization has a great building and environment. I’m really anxious to coach in front of those fans. The team has a lot of young promising guys in place and I’m looking forward to trying to get them back into the playoffs.”
A lot of similarities exist between the Hurricanes (where Laviolette won a Cup) and the Predators, both on and off the ice. Laviolette says the smaller market size and passionate fan base are what could help to bring something truly special to Nashville.
“I think Carolina and Nashville are similar markets. It’s important for [my wife and I] to buy into the team, fans and organization,” said Laviolette. “If the community, fans and players are involved in building something special–then when you experience success–it really reaches a pinnacle. The experience of winning a cup in Carolina was really something great. It’s like a feeling you’ve never had before.”