Capitals Hire Peter Laviolette
After firing former head coach Todd Reirden in late August, the Capitals have been looking for their next bench boss to keep the team’s playoff hopes alive. Laviolette will behind the bench for at least three years. He’s been a head coach of four teams, including the New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Nashville Predators. In 2006 he won the Stanley Cup with he Hurricanes, and will be looking to add another with Washington.
Laviolette has been an NHL coach since 2001 and has coached over 1,200 games in his career. The American born coach was also the runner up to Lindy Ruff in the closest Jack Adams award voting in the league’s history, with the voting coming in at 155-154. He’s known to favour rookies. That may need to change with a large veteran presence on the Capitals. He’ll have to adjust his systems to favour their play.
What This Means for the Future
The Capitals’ organization is in a bit of pickle right now. They have the same core that won them a Stanley Cup a few seasons ago. But they seem to be slipping back to their old habits of early playoff exits. Hiring a coach with the pedigree that Laviolette has might be the perfect hire in the front office. It could push them towards one more Stanley Cup with this core. They have a young goalie in Ilya Samsonov in a contract season, as well as Alex Ovechkin, and Jakub Vrana on expiring deals too. With key players looking to boost their cap hit for the next season, Laviolette will look to maximize their production across the board and find the back of the net a lot more as well.