Washington Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan has announced that the team has hired Peter Laviolette as the new head coach.
Laviolette becomes the 19th coach in the franchise’s 46-year history and the team’s third coach in four seasons. He replaces Todd Reirden, who was fired after the Capitals were eliminated from the playoffs by the New York Islanders in August.
“Peter is a successful NHL head coach who has won a Stanley Cup and brings a wealth of experience to our team,” said MacLellan in a recent press release. “We feel he is a great communicator who will motivate our players to play with passion, structure and discipline, while helping our young players reach their potential. In addition, he is a high-character individual who is highly respected for his coaching pedigree, all of which make him the ideal person to lead our team to compete for the Stanley Cup.”
Laviolette brings 18 years of experience to the veteran Caps team led by Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. The new coach previously headed the Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators. In 2006, he led the Hurricanes to its first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history.
“I’m thankful and excited for the opportunity to lead this hockey club,” said Laviolette. “This is a winning organization with high expectations. I look forward to coaching this tremendous group of players and bringing my experience and vision to the team.”
The hiring comes three weeks before the NHL Draft on Oct. 6 and 7 and the start of free agency on Oct. 9. The upcoming 2020-21 season is currently scheduled to start on Dec. 1.
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