Who is new Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette?

J.J. Regan
·4 min read

Who is new Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Peter Laviolette will become the 19th head coach of the Washington Capitals, replacing Todd Reirden. Let's meet the Caps' new bench boss with eight things you may not have known about Laviolette.

Laviolette has won a Stanley Cup as head coach

General manager Brian MacLellan wanted experience and he is getting it with Laviolette. Laviolette has a Cup ring when he led the Carolina Hurricanes to the Cup in 2006 in the year following the NHL lockout. It was his second season and first full one behind the bench for the Hurricanes.

The Caps will be Laviolette's fifth team

Laviolette began as a head coach with the New York Islanders before going to Carolina. From there he was the head coach for the Philadelphia Flyers and then the Nashville Predators. In addition to the Hurricanes, he also led Philadelphia and Nashville to the Cup Final, though he only won with Carolina. His most recent appearance in the Cup Final was in 2017 with Nashville. That team lost in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was the Predators' first trip to the final.

Laviolette coached back from a 3-0 series deficit

Only four teams in history have overcome a 3-0 series deficit in the playoffs and Laviolette coach one of them. In 2010, the Flyers needed a shootout victory in the final game of the season just to make the playoffs. After upsetting the New Jersey Devils in the first round, Philadelphia went down 3-0 to the Boston Bruins in the second round. Laviolette managed to lead the team all the way back, defeating the Bruins in seven games. The Flyers would continue their incredible run all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, coming within two wins of winning the Cup.

Laviolette is coming from Nashville

Remember the last time the Caps hired the former coach of Nashville? That seemed to work out OK for them....

Laviolette's time in Nashville came to an end in January in his sixth season with the Predators. Nashville was 19-15-7 and was four points out of a playoff spot. They were really bad on special teams, but the team's biggest issue was goaltending. When Laviolette was fired, Nashville had the league's third-worst save percentage at .889.

Laviolette was only the second head coach in franchise history for Nashville, meaning both of the team's coaches left Nashville and went to Washington.

Laviolette won a Calder Cup in his first year as an AHL head coach

In addition to Laviolette's success in the NHL, he also found success as an AHL coach. In just his first season as an AHL coach, Laviolette led the Providence Bruins to a Calder Cup Championship in 1999. Two years later, he was promoted to assistant coach with the Boston Bruins and he has been in the NHL ever since.

Laviolette may have a short shelf-life, but not in the way you may think

Laviolette is known as a tough coach and a disciplinarian. You may think that means he does not last anywhere very long, but that's not actually the case. Laviolette was in his sixth season in Nashville when he was fired in January. Prior to that, he coached Philadelphia from 2009 to 2013 and Carolina from 2003 to 2009. His first stint as an NHL head coach was his shortest as he was with the Islanders for only two years.

Those are pretty good tenures for an NHL head coach, especially when you compare that to a coach like Gerard Gallant, also a finalist for the Caps job, who has never lasted more than three seasons as head coach with any team.

When it comes to Laviolette, saying he has a short shelf-life is more about the success he has been able to have. He won a Cup in his second season with Carolina, made the Final in his first season with the Flyers and his third season with the Predators.

Laviolette is second in wins among American-born coaches

In 2008, Laviolette became the winningest American-born coach in the NHL, passing John Tortorella. He was passed in 2009 by...Tortorella and now sits second, trailing him 655 to 637. Laviolette's 637 wins ranks 16th overall in NHL history.

Laviolette once wore a bull mask for a postgame interview

After a 3-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers in 2018, Laviolette met reporters donning a bull mask. You have to see it to believe it.