Nashville Predators: Looking Back on Peter Laviolette’s Time With Nashville

DALLAS, TEXAS - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Peter Laviolette attends practice for the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Cotton Bowl on December 31, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TEXAS - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Peter Laviolette attends practice for the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Cotton Bowl on December 31, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images) /

After a loss in a shootout against the Ducks on Sunday night, the Nashville Predators finally pulled the trigger and fired Peter Laviolette.

What really happened between the Nashville Predators and now former head coach Peter Laviolette we may not really know at the moment. It’s all speculation until someone on either side speaks out on the matter.

As for now, let’s take a look at the last few years that Laviolette was the head coach for the Nashville Predators and how he coached the team through some incredible franchise milestones. It may have no ended well, but he did a lot of great things for this franchise.

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Laviolette’s achievements

First off, he led the Predators to five-straight playoff appearances and a Stanley Cup Final in 2017. He added a President’s Trophy the following season in 2018, and at that point you couldn’t envision him being fired midseason less than two years later to where were are now.

Here’s what GM David Poile had to say about Laviolette and Associate Head Coach Kevin McCarthy, who was also let go, per the Predators website:

"“Under the leadership of Peter and Kevin, our organization reached unprecedented heights. Their passion for the game, ability to motivate a team and drive to be the best makes this a difficult decision”"

Recently the team has been on a downward spiral by losing games that should have been won with the talent being considered on the roster. Players are to blame as well for the recent struggles, but it’s almost always going to fall on the coach before it does the players.

The most recent disastrous loss in the Winter Classic might have been the last straw. The team fell apart collectively on the national stage in the franchise’s biggest regular season game it has every played in, and the result was very disappointing.

But for him to coach the team in its first Winter Classic is something truly special to the franchise and will be seen as a really awesome thing when we look back on it in the coming years. When dust settles, we’ll be proud of what Laviolette accomplished for this franchise, even if it ended in a sour way.

He deserves our full respect

Looking back on what Laviolette did for the Nashville Predators is wild to think about. He turned a team that was short of always advancing in the playoffs into a team that was expected to advance deep into the playoffs. He flipped everything around when he coached the Predators to a sweep of the Blackhawks and all the way to within two wins of hoisting the Stanley Cup for the Nashville Predators.

Laviolettetook turned this franchise around and made it into something that no one outside of Nashville would look at this team as. One of the NHL’s elite teams.

But that has gradually changed since the Stanley Cup appearance, and memories are short-lived in professional sports. After all, it is a business that involves tough decisions.

Looking back earlier when he was first hired for the 2014-15 season, the Predators had just missed the playoffs and finished with only 88 points. Barry Trotz was let go and Laviolette was brought in with a lot of buzz as he had already been to two Stanley Cups and won one of them.

The team was stuck on a plateau after climbing up the ranks for many years. . Now it’s looking like the team has maybe been lost, and the players were no longer responding to the coaching from Laviolette and McCarthy. This is all speculation, but something wasn’t clicking in the locker room.

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Laviolette did a lot of good things off the ice and on the ice as well. Either way, I’d say he did a commendable job for the time he was here in Nashville. As the dust settles, many fans will miss what he brought to the team initially. He will land another head coaching job quickly and probably by next season.

Most importantly, we’ll never forget the magical Stanley Cup run in 2017, and the bravado he brought to the bench. This is the tough part of the business to see people get fired as it affects their families and personal lives. Best of luck to Peter Laviolette, and thanks coach for all you did for the Nashville Predators.