As per NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, the Washington Capitals may have had a change of heart when it comes to offering an extension to current head coach Peter Laviolette. The Caps aren’t likely to make the playoffs this season and while an extension for Laviolette was rumored earlier in the year, contract talks have gone cold between the two sides.
Friedman noted recently on the Jeff Marek Show, “I think the other thing that’s really happening there in Washington is all of a sudden there’s a little bit of uncertainty about Peter Laviolette.” He adds, “He’s in the last year of his contract and I thought that it was going to be a situation where he was going to get an extension because they were talking about it early in the year and that trail has gone cold.”
Laviolette is among a handful of coaches playing out the final season of his current deal and Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic recently wrote:
The Laviolette situation is also interesting. He was hired by Washington in September 2020 on a three-year deal worth just under $15 million total. As we reported in the fall, there had been talks on an extension last summer, which seemed to indicate a deal was coming. But those talks went quiet once the season started and nothing got done. So we’ll see what happens after this season. The Caps’ season was in part derailed by injuries. Where does that leave Laviolette?
Friedman also noted that things are anything but clear in Washington when it comes to their head coaching situation. He noted, “Obviously, we don’t have clarity yet but I think some of us are beginning to wonder about it a little bit more.” In other words, could the Caps be in the market this off-season for a new coach? The Capitals do play well when everyone is healthy, and for much of this season, they haven’t been. So too, would it be wise to bring in a new coach and a new system while Alex Ovechkin is finishing out his run with the Capitals and trying to break Wayne Gretzky’s goal-scoring record? These are legitimate questions the organization will have to ask.
It was reported on Monday by ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, that if the Capitals do search for a new head coach, Toronto Maple Leafs’ assistant coach and former Hershey Bears head coach Spencer Carbery is on their radar.
Next: Did Michael Bunting Just Hitch His UFA Wagon to Sheldon Keefe?
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