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Laviolette hired as Capitals coach

September 15th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Peter Laviolette was hired as coach of the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. Laviolette replaces Todd Reirden, who was fired Aug. 23 after the Capitals were eliminated by the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 4-0 loss in Game 5 on Aug. 20. It was the second straight season the Capitals lost in the first round of the playoffs after finishing first in the Metropolitan Division each season.

After firing Reirden, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said he wanted to hire an experienced coach to get more out of a veteran roster that includes left wing Alex Ovechkin, who turns 35 on Sept. 17, center Nicklas Backstrom, who turns 33 on Nov. 23, right wing T.J. Oshie, who turns 34 on Dec. 23, and defenseman John Carlson, who turns 31 on Jan. 10.

Laviolette fits that description.

The 55-year-old has coached 18 seasons in the NHL with the New York Islanders (2001-2003) Carolina Hurricanes (2003-2008), Philadelphia Flyers (2009-2013) and Nashville Predators (2014-2020), going 637-425-123 with 25 ties and qualifying for the playoffs 11 times. Laviolette won the Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006 and reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2010 with Philadelphia before losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games and in 2017 with Nashville, a six-game loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Laviolette, from Franklin, Massachusetts, has 637 NHL wins, which are second-most among U.S.-born coaches behind John Tortorella's 655.