Nashville, Tenn. – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has hired 2006 Stanley Cup-winning coach Peter Laviolette as the second head coach in team history and signed him to a multi-year contract.
Laviolette served as head coach in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers in 1997-98, leading the club to a 37-24-9 record. The Nailers reached the Northern Conference Finals where they were eliminated by the eventual Kelly Cup champion Hampton Roads Admirals in six games.
After one season in Wheeling, Laviolette was hired as head coach of the AHL’s Providence Bruins, and led the team to an AHL-best 56-16-4-4 record and a Calder Cup in 1998-99, just one season after the team had gone 19-49-7-5 and finished last in the league. Following the 1999-2000 season, the 1999 AHL Coach of the Year was promoted to assistant coach of the parent Boston Bruins, which he held for a single campaign (2000-01) before starting his NHL head coaching career with the Islanders in 2001-02.
In parts of 12 seasons with the New York Islanders (2001-03), Carolina Hurricanes (2003-09) and Philadelphia Flyers (2009-14), Laviolette has compiled a career coaching record of 389-282-(25)-63 (866 points), and each of the three teams improved exponentially in the first full season after he took the helm: the Islanders finished with 96 points and the eighth-best record in the League in 2001-02 after finishing 30th with 52 points the season prior; the Hurricanes went from 23rd in the NHL with 76 points to fourth with 112 points in 2005-06; and the Flyers improved from 88 points and 18th in the NHL to 106 points and fourth in 2010-11. Laviolette won 52 games in his first full season with Carolina in 2005-06 – earning him runner-up Jack Adams Award honors in the closest vote in award history – recorded back-to-back 47-win seasons with Philadelphia in 2010-11 and 2011-12, and hit the 40-win mark on three other occasions (2001-02, 2006-07 and 2007-08).
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