Peter Laviolette Hired As New Head Coach Of Nashville Predators

Peter LaviolettePeter Laviolette’s period of unemployment didn’t last long.

The Franklin, Mass., native and former Westfield State star was named head coach of the Nashville Predators on Tuesday by Predators president of hockey operations/general manager David Poile.

“Having reached the peak as a Stanley Cup champion, Peter knows the intensity and urgency it will take to help our team reach its ultimate goal,” Poile said in a statement.

Laviolette led an upstart Carolina Hurricanes team to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history during the 2005-2006 season, his second year with the club. He stayed in Carolina for three more seasons before taking over as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2009.

Laviolette led the Flyers to three straight playoff appearances but failed to make the postseason in 2012 and was fired in October 2013 after his team lost the first three games of the 2013-14 regular season.

The 49-year-old’s new job in Nashville will be his first stint in the NHL’s Western Conference.

“I love the nucleus of this team, starting on the back end with two of the best players at their positions in defenseman Shea Weber and goaltender Pekka Rinne, in addition to a solid group of dependable veterans and talented, rising young talent,” Laviolette said. “My challenge will be to impart a system that enables our young forwards to thrive and reach their offensive potential. … I can’t wait to get to Nashville and get started on our journey.

Before he heads south to Nashville, Laviolette will lead the USA men’s hockey team at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Championship, which kicks off May 9 in Minsk, Belarus. Laviolette was named head coach of the U.S. squad on April 15.

Photo via Twitter/@JeffSkversky