The U.S. men’s national hockey team will have a local feel in 2014.
That’s because its newest head coach is Peter Laviolette, a Franklin, Mass., native who spent three seasons in the Boston Bruins’ organization, including two seasons as coach of the team’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins.
Laviolette also played at Westfield State College in Westfield, Mass., for four years before embarking on a professional hockey career that included a 12-game stint with the New York Rangers during the 1988-1989 season.
Laviolette has plenty of coaching experience in international hockey to date. He played an integral role on the 2014 U.S. Olympic team in Sochi, serving as an assistant under current Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, and was the head coach of the 2006 Olympic team in Turin, Italy.
Laviolette’s most recent service in the NHL came with Pittsburgh’s cross-state rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers, where he guided the team to three playoff appearances in four full seasons before he was fired at the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
The 49-year-old coach will lead his U.S. squad at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship, which will be held in Minsk, Belarus, from May 9 to May 25. The U.S. took home the bronze medal at the tournament last year.