Peter Laviolette is ready to coach the Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals have hired Peter Laviolette.

The Washington Capitals got it right in their search for the next head coach by hiring Peter Laviolette. Just hours after the team made it official, the newest bench boss of the Caps met with the media on a Zoom conference call.

“Peter has a track record of establishing a culture, and it’s one of his priorities. And part of that culture is getting guys to play the right way and holding them accountable to play the right way. I think it’s a big priority when you talk to him, so I have confidence, because he’s done it in the past, and it’s a priority the way he speaks about it, the way he communicates about it,” said Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan.

MacLellan interviewed three known candidates but Laviolette was the lucky one of the trio to have met GMBM in person while the other interviews were conducted virtually or over the phone. GMBM wanted a veteran coach with experience. Laviolette has that with a resume of 18 years of coaching in the NHL.

“I look at it as a great opportunity. You have a terrific cast of talent that’s big and strong and can play the game aggressive and has a chance to be successful on a nightly basis. For me it’s an incredible opportunity. I can’t speak from experience working with this group because I haven’t been there yet, obviously. But I am excited to get in there and start to work with them and build something special,” said Laviolette.

Laviolette is the first head coach in Capitals history to arrive in D.C. with a Stanley Cup on his resume, having won it as coach of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. He also guided the Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2010 and the Nashville Predators to one in 2017.

Laviolette has yet to speak to Alex Ovechkin but he looks forward to coaching the team captain and the rest of his teammates. He isn’t sure what to do with the coaching staff yet, whether it’ll be the same guys or new faces.

“I see a team that’s had success recently, regular season success, some postseason success and for me that’s the great opportunity. I don’t necessarily look at it and say, ‘Well, it’s got to happen this year or it’ll never happen.’ I’m excited to go in and be here and be a part of this and add any layer that I can as a coach to try and help (us) get to that next step,” said Laviolette.