The Washington Capitals have officially announced Peter Laviolette as their new head coach.
A Little History
Laviolette, who was relieved in Nashville as the Predators head coach on January 6th, 2020, has coached in 1,210 career NHL games with a 637-425-25-123 record. In the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Laviolette has made an appearance 11 times for a total of 75 wins and 68 loses. In those 11 playoff appearances Laviolette has appeared in the Stanley Cup Final three times, and won the Stanley Cup in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Laviolette began his NHL head coaching career with the New York Islanders with the 2001-02 season and made the playoffs both seasons with the club recording a 77-62-19-6 record, but would lose in the Conference Quarterfinals both years to Toronto and Ottawa.
After leaving the Islanders Laviolette would then come in to replace Paul Maurice behind the bench in Carolina where he would coach the remaining 52 games of the 2003-04 regular season. In 2005-06 Laviolette would guide the Hurricanes to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. His next three seasons with the organization would not fare well as they would miss the playoffs the next two seasons and in 2008-09 Laviolette would be relieved of his duties 25 games into the season. Laviolette would leave Carolina with a 167-122-6-28 record.
On December 4th, 2009, Laviolette would be hired by the Philadelphia Flyers to replace John Stevens as head coach. that season Laviolette would coach the remaining 57 regular season games of 2009-10, and then guide the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final where they would eventually fall to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. The next two seasons the Flyers would get bounced in the Conference Semifinals by Boston and New Jersey, and in 2012-13 would miss the playoffs completely. In 2013-14 Laviolette would only last three games as he would be replaced by Craig Berube. Laviolette would go 145-98-29 with the Flyers.
During the 2014 offseason Laviolette would be hired by the Nashville Predators to replace Barry Trotz, who came to Washington, and would make the playoffs all five full seasons he was with the team. After first round (2015) and second round (2016) exits his first two seasons with Nashville, he would lead the Predators to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but would fall in six games to the Penguins. The next two seasons they would have another second round (2018) and first round (2019) exits, and after coaching 41 games in the 2019-20 season, he would be replaced by John Hynes. Laviolette would go 248-143-60 in Nashville.
Welcome to Washington
Laviolette becomes the 19th coach in franchise history, and according to reports from Pierre LeBrun, Elliotte Friedman, and Darren Dreger, and has signed a three year deal worth around $4 million a year.
The three year deal makes the most sense for the Capitals as that is how they see their current Stanley Cup window, and knowing that Laviolette is a great coach his first two seasons with the teams he comes too, the third year of his deal could be viewed as the potential close to their window at winning another Stanley Cup.
Laviolette will act as a shot in the arm to the Capitals who looked uninspired to play in the Bubble for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs under former coach Todd Reirden. He also becomes the first coach to come to the Capitals with a legitimate Stanley Cup resume with his three appearances and one win.
In the comin weeks and months as the Capitals prepare for the 2020-21 season Laviolette will have a lot of work to do as he needs to replace the entire coaching staff that still remains here in Washington, and bring in new faces and fresh voices to help elevate the Capitals, and get them back to their Stanley Cup winning ways.