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Laviolette Leaving Capitals, Will Test NHL Coaching Free Agency

Peter Laviolette has informed the Washington Capitals he won’t be returning to the team next season and will test coaching free agency.

As was reported on Friday, the Washington Capitals and head coach Peter Laviolette have agreed to mutually part ways. With his contract coming due and with the Capitals having missed the playoffs this season, it was likely that both sides were thinking about moving in different directions, but it was Laviolette who apparently led the discussion and decided it was time for something new.

According to Sammi Silber of The Hockey News, “Per reports, Peter Laviolette requested a morning meeting with Brian MacLellan, where he told the Capitals he wanted to part ways. His three-year tenure in D.C. ended on a tough note as the team missed out on the playoffs for the first time since 2014.” Further to this, Pierre LeBrun of TSN writes, “Laviolette’s contract was expiring June 30. This is as much about the veteran coach wanting to hit the free-agent market and bet on himself as it is the team also wanting a new voice behind the bench.”

The Capitals said in a statement:

“We are grateful for Peter’s leadership and dedication to our organization for the last three seasons,” said MacLellan. “Peter is a first-class individual who has represented our club with integrity and guided our team through many difficult circumstances in his tenure as our head coach. We wish him all the best moving forward.”

Peter Laviolette Washington Capitals head coach NHL

Laviolette will not be shy of any opportunities to coach next season. In just the last 24 hours, the Capitals, Anaheim Ducks, and Columbus Blue Jackets all made coaching changes. More are likely to come with talk that Darryl Sutter may not be back in Calgary, while the future of D.J. Smith in Ottawa is unclear. Other teams will likely look to make changes too. Laviolette is a successful coach who has a history of production with the teams he runs. That fact that he wasn’t able to accomplish much in Washington in the three years he was behind their bench will probably not deter a team from looking at him and putting him near the top of their candidate’s board.

Next: Pittsburgh Penguins Clean House: Fire Hextall, Burke, Pryor

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