WASHINGTON — The Washington Capitals are reportedly hiring veteran NHL coach Peter Laviolette to replace Todd Reirden as their next head coach.

Laviolette has coached multiple teams to the Stanley Cup Playoffs taking home Lord Stanley’s Cup in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes. Laviolette has reached the Stanley Cup Finals with a total of three teams, as he also coached the Philadelphia Flyers (2010) and the Nashville Predators (2017) to the conference championships. He brings 18 seasons of experience as a head coach including 10 trips to the Stanley Cup Playoffs to Washington. His 637 career wins are 2nd most all-time among U.S. born coaches behind only John Tortorella and 16th most in NHL history.

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Laviolette most recently spent the past six seasons in Nashville where he succeeded former Caps head coach Barry Trotz as only the 2nd head coaching Predators history. He was let go on January 6, 2020 despite 5 straight playoff appearances in his only 5 season there, including back to back division titles.

“Peter is a successful NHL head coach who has won a Stanley Cup and brings a wealth of experience to our team,” said Capitals GM Brian MacLellan. “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.”

The 55-year old head coach relishes the challenge of leading Alex Ovechkin & company back to the Stanley Cup Finals.  “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.”

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Laviolette again follows in Trotz’ footsteps, replacing Todd Reirden (Trotz’ Washington successor) as the 19th head coach in Capitals history. His 18 seasons at the helm of NHL teams fits Washington and MacLellan’s emphasis on “experience” in their latest coaching search. “We need an experienced coach,” MacLellan had said of the coaching search. “We have an experienced group. We’re going to try and find the best guy we can; experience will be a factor. And somebody that can hold people accountable.”

MacLellan has also said Washington was “open to spending top dollar” on their next head coach “if it makes sense.” Apparently, in this case it made sense, because Laviolette’s new deals is reportedly for 3 years at $4 million/year. Caps fans may remember that $4 million a year over 5 years is the amount that they refused to pay Barry Trotz before he left for New York for that same price tag. Washington seems to have learned its lesson when it comes to going cheer when it comes to head coaching after their experience with Todd Reirden’s discounted price tag.

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MacLellan and the Capitals seem to have gotten their man in Laviolette, time will tell if he has what it takes to follow Trotz once again and bring Washington their 2nd Stanley Cup title.

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