Predators Sign Laviolette to Contract Extension

USATSI_9286098_154158418_lowresThe Nashville Predators have signed head coach Peter Laviolette to a two-year contract extension, the team announced Saturday.

The 51-year-old is 88-52-24 in two seasons in Music City and the club has made the post-season throughout his tenure so far. Prior to Laviolette’s arrival, the Predators missed the playoffs for two straight seasons.

Laviolette finished third in voting for the Jack Adams Award in his first season with Nashville, with the team piling up 47 wins and a total of 104 points – the third most wins and points in franchise history. Last season, he led the club to a 41-27-14 record and took the first wild card in the Western Conference. They made it to the second round in the playoffs.

The Massachusetts-born coach saw limited action as a player before commencing his coaching career in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers in West Virginia. He landed in Providence the year after that, where he was named AHL Coach of the Year after taking the Bruins to the Calder Cup Championship.

Shortly after, Laviolette was granted a post with the Boston Bruins as an assistant but ambition pushed him to Long Island where he coached the Islanders and helped turn the team into a consistent hockey club. In 2003-2004, he was hired by the Carolina Hurricanes as the replacement for Paul Maurice. Laviolette was behind the bench when the team won their first Stanley Cup in 2006 and became just the fourth American-born coach to do so.

He was also the runner-up to the Jack Adams Award after the 2006 run, but Lindy Ruff beat him out by a single vote.

In 2008, Laviolette became the winningest American-born coach in the National Hockey League until John Tortorella bypassed him in 2009. But by December of 2008, he was canned by the ‘Canes. A year later, he was inked to coach the Philadelphia Flyers and replaced John Stevens in the role. Under his leadership, the team went on to reach the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

After a rough start in 2013-2014, Laviolette was fired by the Flyers. In May of 2014, he signed with Nashville as the replacement to long-term bench boss Barry Trotz.

Laviolette has transformed the Predators into an offensive force. They’ve scored 450 goals over the past two seasons, the 12th highest totals in the league. With the likes of P.K. Subban in the fold and a solid group of young players, it’s very likely that Laviolette will have a very good year in 2016-2017.

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