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Lavy’s back: Preds hire Laviolette as head coach

May 6, 2014, 1:11 PM EDT

PeterLavioletteNew Getty Images

Cross one of the biggest names off the coaching candidate list.

On Tuesday, the Nashville Predators named Peter Laviolette their new head coach and just the second bench boss in franchise history. Laviolette will replace Barry Trotz, who was relieved of his duties last month after 15 seasons in the Music City.

“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,” Preds GM David Poile said in a statement. “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.”

Laviolette, 49, won a Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006 and took the Flyers to the ’10 Cup Final, eventually losing to Chicago. He was fired by Philadelphia just three games into this season, replaced by Craig Berube.

Joining Laviolette in Nashville will be his former Flyers assistant Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy had been behind the bench in Philly for five years prior to his dismissal — which coincided with Laviolette’s — and is an ex-NHL defenseman, having captained the Canucks while making the NHL All-Star Game in 1981.

That last tidbit is interesting, because McCarthy will be joining a staff with another ex-NHL blueliner — Phil Housley, who will make up the other part of Laviolette’s staff along with Lane Lambert. Housley and Lambert are the two lone holdovers from the Trotz regime.

  1. phillyphanatic77 - May 6, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Wow that’s one of the last places I’d expect him to end up. The Preds better look to acquire some forward talent if they want Lavys system to be a success. As good as he is Shea Weber probably shouldn’t be annually leading the team in points.

    • c9castine - May 6, 2014 at 10:56 PM

      not me, because Poile is smart and takes winning seriously.

      i never liked Laviolette. Still dont. but that doesnt get in the way of me realizing hes a really good coach that needs to be running an NHL bench.

      i thought he was gonna be the isles coach months ago. surprised it took this long but alas, there he is.

  2. ethanmacleod1685 - May 6, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    So they hire an offensive minded coach to coach defensive minded players, that makes sense, not! I second the comment above abouts them getting some forward talent of they want to be successful. This right now is not playing to their strengths

    • storminator16 - May 6, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      Their forward group is fine, the system Nashville employed did those guys no favors. Trotz didn’t adjust to his roster. He’s fired.

  3. gnashty - May 6, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Trade Shea Weber to the Flyers and get a forward and a prospect. Sounds good to me

    • freneticgarfieldfan - May 6, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      you have probably a pair of 4th liners in mind. congratulations, this is a very bright idea. Poile will take your advice.

    • bspray - May 6, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      Ok, how about Giroux, Schenn and Laughton for Webber?

      • mcphillthy - May 6, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        You’re an idiot

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 6, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Comment section wouldn’t be complete without a stupid comment from a Flyers fan

  4. storminator16 - May 6, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    As soon as Trotz was let go, this was the only coach that made sense. Preds fans should be dancing in the streets. Lavy and McCarthy will make that team a bit more exciting. Preds already have decent size in their forward group and the defensemen are perfect for Lavy’s system. Perfect hire.

    I like the Preds forward group, I think Trotz mishandled them.

    • mcphillthy - May 6, 2014 at 7:25 PM

      I couldn’t agree more!
      Flyers/preds fan here. My east and west conference teams! Nashville is built for lavy’s system! There was not a better coach for the team that Nashville has put together. I will almost go as far as to say you are now a play off team again just by having lavy as your coach.
      You had to know this was coming! With poile being over team and the coaching staff he chose you already knew this was coming!

      Great job, Nashville!

  5. whiskytango333 - May 6, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Great hire. I can’t believe it took Lavy a year to find a job.

    • chanceoffleury - May 6, 2014 at 6:30 PM

      I wouldn’t be surprised if I found out he turned down a coaching job or two to wait until the season was over. Most teams, even those that hire a new interim coach mid-season, are going to open the door for interviews for their team’s coaching job after the season is over. I doubt Nashville was the only place that wanted him. Waiting until the end of the year led him to more options. Nashville isn’t a bad place to wait for. They already have quality goaltending and defense. Add a few good forwards and they’re a solid playoff team. Places like Vancouver and Toronto you’re going to be under a constant microscope, and Washington has burned coaches down like an old cigarette in recent years. Florida’s situation is a lot to take on, and he’s already wore out his welcome once in Carolina. They had the 15th best record in terms of ROWs, but when you don’t have anybody who can score in a shootout on top of your starting goalie’s health being in shambles the whole year, you’re gonna have trouble picking up the extra points here and there. Nashville doesn’t have a bad roster, they’re just gonna have to make a big move or two to get some scorers over the next 10 months.

  6. capsnbohs23 - May 6, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    There’s the first highly qaulified coach Leonsis fails to hire because he is taking his sweet old time finding a GM

    • 7mantel - May 6, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      By the time he’s ready to hire a coach Oates will be the only ex coach still around .

  7. sharksfan97 - May 6, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Wow, great looking coaching staff. I’m also a big fan of Phil Housley. Hopefully the outstanding fans in Nashville see their team return to success!

  8. bricktop02 - May 6, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Hey bspray I would make that trade in a heartbeat.

  9. kastout11 - May 6, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    An outstanding hire. Lavy is a really intense guy, but he wins everywhere he goes. I think he would have turned things around in Philly, but I think Homer and Ed made up their minds that he would be fired as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Unfortunately it was in the first week of the regular season. He turned around the Flyers immediately when he was hired and he will do the same in Nashville. I feel Nashville is a tough team and Rhinne healthy they will be a tough team, even though they will be playing in the Western Conference. I’m confident, they will be a playoff team next year.

  10. matt14gg - May 6, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    There’s just something about rehiring the usual suspects that kinds of bugs me. It would be great to see some new blood with new ideas get a chance. I felt the same way when the Stars hired Lindy Ruff. Why is it so hard for some of these teams to give a new guy, off the radar, a chance?

    • flyerspsu - May 6, 2014 at 8:34 PM

      Lavy took to 2 different lower seed teams to the cup finals and won with 1, hes a solidified good NHL coach, who do you have in mind that they should have taken a flyer on over someone as proven as Lavy?

    • flyerspsu - May 6, 2014 at 8:34 PM

      Lavy took 2 different lower seed teams to the cup finals and won with 1, hes a solidified good NHL coach, who do you have in mind that they should have taken a flyer on over someone as proven as Lavy?

  11. hockeyornothing - May 6, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Cuz the new guys don’t cut it. They need lots of seasoning in juniors or AHL and even then many can’t make it in the big league. New ideas aren’t necessarily the answer. The best coaches are strong communicators to their players, respected by their players, and not afraid to speak their minds. Nor do they coach in fear of losing their jobs. Besides head coaching isn’t for everyone. Im sure it’s not an easy job!

    • storminator16 - May 6, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      If this is a reply to matt14gg’s comment, I 100% agree.

  12. feedmetherock - May 6, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    The Preds have some young forwards that were probably held back by the system. Forsberg, Jarnkrok, Wilson and Sissons all have some offensive upside. Plus their defense all has the capability of putting up some points

    • storminator16 - May 6, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      Wilson, especially. There was a stretch last season in which I thought he was going to break out in a big way. Weeks later, he was back in his bottle. No one should be surprised if he has a big season in 2014/2015.

  13. bricktop02 - May 6, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    Or another A**hole making comments about flyers fans.

    • jrclark1978 - May 6, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Let them be jealous. Not everyone is endowed with coolness like Flyers fans :) Granted, there’s a lot of despair and anguish, but that’s just the nature of our 39 year beast.

  14. titansbro - May 6, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Just happy it’s not Torts.

    • Idaslapter - May 6, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      I second that. He would not be a good fit for Nashville.

  15. jrclark1978 - May 6, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Great hire by the Preds. I’ve always liked and appreciated Lavy for his time spent here in Philly. Great competitor, Cup champion, what more can you say. To be honest, I can’t think of a better situation for Nashville Predator fans. A proven winner as a head coach supported by highly qualified assistants, a tremendous set of blue liners and forwards with a lot to learn. Good luck, hope everything works out for y’all!

  16. roryflyers - May 6, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    Congrats lavy! The lavy timeout is back, unfortunately in a different city. I hope he has success in Nashville.

  17. flyboystransport - May 6, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    Best wishes lavy……except against the flyers

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