Laviolette named coach of Predators

Nashville (AFP) - Peter Laviolette, who coached Carolina to the 2006 Stanley Cup and turned around the fortunes of three National Hockey League clubs, was named Tuesday as coach of the Nashville Predators.

Laviolette, an American, will take over the Predators after serving as coach of the US team at the World Championships, which begin Friday in Belarus.

"I can't wait to get to Nashville and get started on our journey," Laviolette said.

The multi-year deal announced by Predators president David Poile brings Nashville a coach who has revived the New York Islanders, Carolina and Philadelphia in his prior NHL coaching stops.

"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," Poile said.

"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."

Laviolette played for the US team at the 1988 and 1994 Winter Olympics, coached the Americans at the 2006 Torino Games and served as an assistant coach last February at Sochi.

Laviolette went 389-282 with 63 overtime losses and 25 draws in parts of 12 campaigns with the Islanders from 2001-2003, Carolina from 2003-2009 and Philadelphia from 2009 through this year.

His teams made six trips to the playoffs, including Philadelphia's 2010 Stanley Cup final appearance and the Islanders' first playoff berth in seven seasons. With each team, he improved upon the results from his predecessor.

In Nashville, the pressure will be upon him to bounce back after a season that saw the Predators win only 38 of 82 games for 88 points, three shy of Dallas for the final Western Conference playoff berth.

"My challenge will be to impart a system that enables our young forwards to thrive and reach their offensive potential," Laviolette said.

"Being a perennial Stanley Cup contender requires buy-in, passion and commitment from every player on the roster."

With Finnish star goaltender Pekka Rinne and two-time Canadian gold medal Olympian Shea Weber as captain and anchor of a solid defensive unit, Laviolette's offensive-minded philosophy is sought to boost point production from 216 goals last season.

Six times in eight full seasons, Laviolette's clubs have finished among the NHL's top 10 in scoring, and never worse than 13th in the 30-team league.


Huge philosophy change for the Predators. I was hoping the Capitals would of jumped in on Laviolette because he would of been a good coach for the players they already had established there. I like the move for Nashville though, Laviolette is a good coach he's going to help that team for sure.