The Washington Capitals next coach should be Peter Laviolette.
The Washington Capitals next coach should be one with experience and General Manager Brian MacLellan said that’s what he’s looking for. In Elliotte Friedman’s 31 thoughts, he mentions that the team has received permission to talk to Peter Laviolette and that he is a contender.
Laviolette was relieved of his duties as the Nashville Predators head coach in January. He took the Predators to the finals in 2017. Laviolette has 18 years of head coaching experience in the NHL and would be the perfect choice for MacLellan.
Laviolette has taken three teams to the finals in his coaching career with Nashville, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Carolina Hurricanes. He won the Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006. The Flyers made it to the finals in 2010. The Predators made it to the playoffs in each year during Laviolette’s time but they were on the outside looking in at a playoff position when he was let go.
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Laviolette would bring discipline to the Caps that their former coach Todd Reirden lacked. He also would change the culture. MacLellan believed the culture has started to slip and hiring a guy like Laviolette would straighten the culture out for a team that has a closing window.
Laviolette has a lot of experience in that he’s coached over 1,200 regular season games and over 1,350 games if you include the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Laviolette has won 637 games and those wins rank 16th all time among head coaches. He’s also the only coach in NHL history to guide three different franchises to a Stanley Cup Final.
Laviolette checks off all the boxes for the Caps in their next head coaching search. He’s a veteran coach that’s won a Stanley Cup. He also has a history of getting his teams to play better defensively which is something the Caps hope to address this offseason. Although his offensive schemes are questionable, he’s never worked with a forward lineup as deep as Washington’s.
For the Capitals though, time is of the essence. They need to hire Laviolotte who’s the perfect coach for a win now team. There’s no time to wait for a coach to develop. They have to hire a vetran and Laviolette is the right choice.
He would get to work with a team with a lot of talent such as Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, T.J. Oshie and Jakub Vrana. He will also get a chance to work with a potential Norris Trophy winner in John Carlson.
Here’s hoping the Caps make the right call and get it right with Peter Laviolette.