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Peter Laviolette Fills Washington Capitals Coaching Vacancy

Can Peter Laviolette steer the Capitals back into Stanley Cup contention?

Peter Laviolette Washington Capitals Coach
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After winning the Stanley Cup in 2018, the Washington Capitals were bounced out of 1st round NHL playoff action in consecutive years under the guidance of Todd Reirden. Less than a month after Reirden was relieved, the Capitals decided upon Peter Laviolette as new Head Coach.

The 2020/21 regular season will be Laviolette’s 18th as a Head Coach, and Washington will be stop number five during his career as an NHL bench boss. The 55-year-old from Franklin, MA has previously led three different teams to the Stanley Cup Finals – winning with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, and falling short with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 and Nashville Predators in 2017.

With core names like Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, Nicklas Bäckström, TJ Oshie, and Tom Wilson still in the mix (at least for another season before the ‘Great 8’/Ovechkin will become an UFA in 2021/22), Washington is a team that could easily get back into Stanley Cup contention under the right guidance. As a result, the search to fill the Capitals coaching vacancy was a competitive process that included quality candidates Gerrard Galland and Mike Babcock.

Related: Jonas Brodin Signs Huge Extension With Wild

Healthy Deal

The strength of competition for the job in Washington also meant the eventual candidate would make it out well contractually.  That certainly appears to be the case here.

As reported by TSN NHL Insider Pierre Lebrun, the new 3-year contract for Laviolette is, “worth just under $15 M in total so salary in the high 4’s. Pretty good deal in the new Covid-affected NHL economy”. Agreed Mr. Lebrun.

Why Laviolette?

With a such a talented roster, GM Brian MacLellan undoubtedly had a good idea what he felt the team needed to get back on track.

Peter Laviolette Fired
Peter Laviolette Fired

In a news statement regarding the Laviolette hiring this morning, MacLellan noted, “We feel [Laviolette] is a great communicator who will motivate our players to play with passion, structure, and discipline, while helping our young players reach their potential.” The GM added, “I think he checks a lot of boxes for us. He’s got a lot of experience. He’s got a track record of accomplishment.”

Anyone surprised the Capitals chose Laviolette over Babcock or Gallant?

NEXT: Flames Officially Name Geoff Ward Head Coach, What’s Next?

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