BetCRIS NHL News – Predators hire Laviolette as head coach

BetCRIS NHL News – Nashville Predators hire Peter Laviolette as new head coach

Nashville Predators general manager David Poile announced on May 6 that he has hired just the second head coach in the NHL franchise’s history when he introduced Peter Laviolette as the new bench boss. Laviolette replaces Barry Trotz who was let go at the end of the regular season when the Predators failed to make the playoffs.

Poile said Laviolette knows exactly what it takes to reach the Stanley Cup Final and has proven over the years that he possesses a winning mentality along with a superior hockey mind. He also likes the fact that the new coach likes his teams to play an offensive and aggressive style of hockey and has a history of helping younger players reach their potential.

However, while Poile is excited about bringing Laviolette onboard he’ll have to wait until the 49-year-old is finished with his duties as head coach of the U.S. team at the 2014 IIHF World Championships. Laviolette sounded just as thrilled to be heading to Nashville and released a statement which said he’s looking forward to working with goaltender Pekka Rinne and defenseman Shea Weber.

He added that it’s his job to communicate with all players, whether they’re experienced veterans or raw rookies. He feels it will be an exciting challenge to guide the club to its ultimate goal, which is a Stanley Cup championship and he can’t wait to get started. Laviolette’s resume proves he prefers offensive hockey as his teams have finished in the top 10 of NHL scoring in six out of eight seasons and two of the squads ended up in the top three.

Laviolette has plenty of NHL head coaching experience with the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes and most recently the Philadelphia Flyers. He’s also been in charge of several minor-league teams since kicking off coaching career in 1997 as well as a stint with the American Olympic team. He was released by Philadelphia earlier this season after the club got off to a slow start 0-3. He has what it takes to mold a team into Stanley Cup champions as he led the Hurricanes to the title in 2005/06.

Under Trotz the Predators were known as a more defensive team. They were tied for last overall in goalscoring in 2012/13 and finished this season with the 19th-best offense at 2.61 goals per game. Laviolette’s first job will be to get the Predators back to the playoffs. They finished this season in place in the Western Conference with a record of 38-32-12 for 88 points. They missed the final wildcard playoff spot by just three points as the Dallas Stars grabbed it with a 91-point campaign.

The Predators have plenty of salary cap room to work with and the next order of business on the NHL schedule will be the Entry Draft in Late June. That will be followed by free agency on July 1 and of course deals can be made anytime between now and the next trade deadline, which won’t arrive till next March. Laviolette will join the Predators as soon at the World Championships are over.

By William Lewis
Visit the Author’s Google + page