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Oddsmaker: Laviolette, Trotz favored to become next Caps coach

Apr 28, 2014, 12:27 PM EDT

Peter Laviolette AP

Online oddsmaker Bovada has released its list of potential candidates for the vacant head coaching gig in Washington, and a pair of recently-dismissed bench bosses top the list.

Peter Laviolette, fired by the Flyers three games into the 2013-14 campaign, and Barry Trotz — the first and only head coach in Nashville Predators history — are both listed as 3-1 favorites.

Following not far behind is another ex-Philly coach, current Kings assistant John Stevens, and former Lightning bench boss Guy Boucher, who’s currently coaching in Switzerland.

The full list, per Bovada:

Peter Laviolette                         3/1

Barry Trotz                                3/1

John Stevens                            11/2

Guy Boucher                             11/2

Mike Haviland                           11/2

Kevin Dineen                             9/1

Phil Housley                              9/1

Glen Gulutzan                            9/1

Mike Keenan                             10/1

Jeff Blashill                               16/1

For those that aren’t familiar with some of the names:

— Haviland coaches Washington’s AHL affiliate in Hershey, and previously served as Joel Quenneville’s assistant in Chicago.

— Blashill is the head coach of Detroit’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. The Griffins won the Calder Cup last season and Blashill was named AHL coach of the year two weeks ago.

— Gulutzan (who you should probably know) coached in Dallas for two seasons before getting replaced by Lindy Ruff. He spent last year as John Tortorella’s assistant in Vancouver.

  1. valoisvipers - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Why is Mike Keenan on this list? But it would be fun watching him and Ovi go at it.

    • c9castine - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      i believe he coaches in the KHL.

      maybe somebody can verify or refute that for me.

      • Mike Halford - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:07 PM

        Yup, he currently coaches Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

      • JoeAvg - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        Verified. And he might even just be what this team needs. The Nicholson-esque persona could scare them into relevancy. Would love to see how him and Ovi get on.

  2. killerpgh - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Can’t see Guy Boucher. Couldn’t imagine that roster (especially Ovechkin) playing a 1-3-1 defensive system. You either have to pick a coach that can work with your current roster blow the roster up and fill to the coach strength. Either way a GM should be the first thing hired before a coach, imo. Let the GM do what he wants or your limiting his power before he is even hired.

    • joey4id - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      Every coach has to be able to work with their team’s current roster. That’s part of the job expectation. The biggest challenge for a coach is to get the players to buy into the system. Maybe the Blues will let Hitchcock go after the exit interviews (not that I think they should), and he can be hired by the Caps. The days of the Club Med have to be over in Wsh. No more free pass for any player. It has to be the coaches way or it’s the highway.

      • har21441 - Apr 28, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        Agreed that removing the club med mentality is what the caps need, but it seems like any coach that attempts to do that is run out of town. Hunter and Oates both have their flaws, but both also tried to institute a system that was different than the players wanted, and the players turned on them, specifically ovi. The new coach may have to shoot a hostage to get their attention.

    • Hard to BeLeaf - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      With Ovie the “1-3-1” becomes a “linechange-3-1”

  3. hockeyornothing - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Laviolette gets my vote.
    Don’t think Trotz would even want it.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      Lavy is just the coach to whip them into the right mindset. Before anything, this team needs some drive. Lavy creates drive. It SHOULD be as good as done.

  4. hockeyornothing - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Keenan can then bring Ovi home and coach him there

  5. joey4id - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Hold the press, boys. Who’s going to hire the coach? Don’t put the cart before the horse. A bit premature to come out with this list before a new GM is hired.

  6. imleftcoast - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Mike Haviland is the only name that makes any sense. I can’t imagine anyone else is actually being considered other than maybe Boucher given the Caps roster and style of play. The Torts hiring in Vancouver should be an example of how not to run a team.

  7. phillyphanatic77 - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Of the favorites there is no doubt that Laviolette’s system would fit the Washington roster best. It allows for plenty of offensive freedom that Ovi would love. Whether or not they’d become a better team is hard to tell. But I will say that Lavy usually has great success his first two seasons somewhere, it’s the years after that he tends to falter. Good coach, hope he makes it back behind the bench this season.

  8. har21441 - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    Trotz is what the caps need most, but his defense first style would have certain superstars pouting. Laviolette would be a good fit for a while, but just like his time with the Flyers, the players would tune him out sooner than later.

    You want a good fit for the caps? A coach that handle star players and their egos? A coach that pushes a high intensity offense and will stick to that plan no matter if it working or not? Dan Bylsma. Word is that without a deep run in the playoffs he’s on his way out, and judging by how poorly the pens have been against Columbus, odds are he’ll be job hunting in the near future.

  9. imgoingtowichita - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    Whoever gets it, have yourself one heck of a termination clause.
    Ovi’ll get ya

  10. titansbro - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    Agree with above poster, why would Trotz want this job? Remember how he handled Radulov in the playoffs? He doesn’t much seem to care for the partyboy Russian bullshizz. He also seems to value defense, which Ovi does not.

    • killerpgh - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      I don’t think Trotz is a strictly defensive coach. I think of him as a great coach who coaches to the strength of his team. And being in Nashville for so long and not being on a team that usually spends to the cap Max makes people thinks he is a strictly a defensive minded coach. Defensive players tend to cost less the offensive players.

      In 2005-06 was Paul Kariya 1st year with the Predators. Kariya again became an over a point-per-game player for the 1st time since the 2000-01 season.

      If Bylsma does end up getting fired I would love to see what Trotz could do with the Penguins roster. Ray Shero came from Nashville as a assist GM for 8 years so there is some familiarity with Trotz/Shero.

  11. 2qswing - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Trotz/Ovi would be fun to watch. You have to admit.

  12. blomfeld - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Stop treating the ‘symptoms’ of the problem … deal with the ’cause’ for crying out loud !

    Regardless of whether or not Capital fans want to admit it, the fact is that Ovechkin’s days in the NHL are now ‘numbered’ in no uncertain terms. Next year he starts earning northward of US $10,000,000.00 per season for the next seven years, with almost half of that going to income tax. Conversely he could earn the same, if not more in the KHL ‘tax free’ over the same time period. Therefore it doesn’t take a rocket scientist (Werner Von Braun) to see what’s now likely going to go down … call it the ‘Ilya’ syndrome effect if you like ? The bottom line is that Ovechkin is ‘not’ a part of the long term solution in Washington and therefore it would behoove their new management to deal with this issue now, before it deals with them !

    • capsnbohs23 - Apr 28, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      Its funny a Kings fan thinks he knows the problems the Caps have, how many caps games have you watched in your life? 2?…3?

      • blomfeld - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:56 PM

        since their inception in 74, I reckon I’ve watched them at least 200-300 times or so ? … and I probably took in at least 20-30 Kansas City Scout games too before their demise …

    • bmoreredfury311 - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      BOO! Go back to your hole!

  13. joey4id - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    An ex coach on a radio talk show said he spoke to a player on the current Caps roster about Ovi’s leadership. He said Ovi would come in the weight room, do a couple of bicep curls and leave. Like I said above. The day of the Country Club like atmosphere has to come to an end. Some have suggested that the Caps should hire Gretzky, and that he’ll need to get Ovi on board. Well! Whoever it is, the more knowledgeable commenters here know very well that Ovi is part of the problem, and getting him in line is part of the solution.

    • capsnbohs23 - Apr 28, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      You’re right they have to get him in line. I mean he loved Oates as a coach but he is a coach killer, he had Beagle as his center and never complained once, switched positions and never complained. He needs to be put in his place

    • 7mantel - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      Unnamed coach quotes unnamed player = BS

      • joey4id - Apr 28, 2014 at 9:23 PM

        7mantel. You think you’re smart? I can name the coach, but why would the ex coach name the player? The ex coach/GM was Doug Maclean. You happy now.

      • 7mantel - Apr 28, 2014 at 9:31 PM

        Smart enough not to quote someone on hearsay joe4id !

      • joey4id - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:12 PM

        WTF are you talking about?

  14. 19inarow - Apr 28, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    It’s too bad the Isles already have such an incredibly successful coach in Jack Capuano, otherwise…

    So many great ingredients and friggin’ Chef Boyardee at the stove.


    • stixzidinia - Apr 28, 2014 at 3:02 PM

      Hey, Spaghettios w/ meatballs are awesome.

  15. stixzidinia - Apr 28, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    What’s surprising is that Caps fans were actually surprised the way their year played out. Ya’ll were told all along what would happen once you got out of the SouthLeast division. And that’s just what happened.

    No coach will be hired before a GM is brought in. And it’s a good bet Lavs and Trotz will both find homes before they even have a chance to get to Washington.

  16. jake6881 - Apr 28, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    I watched lavi in Carolina and here in Philly. He will give you 2-4 years of great coaching. After his message wears out, he has to go. The team just shuts down. That being said, he gets Ovi on board and that team would be deadly in that system. They have the talent to win a cup but, can he get the top players to buy in. If he does, it could be multiple cup runs. The Caps have been an Inigma to me me for years now. So much talent and maybe one great year. I don’t get it

  17. storminator16 - Apr 28, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Laviolette would be the perfect coach for Ovechkin. 60 to 70 goals would not be a reach.

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