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Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman reported on Sunday night that the Nashville Predators have given the Washington Capitals permission to talk to their former head coach, Peter Laviolette, who was fired by the team on January 6.
“Washington has permission to talk to Peter Laviolette, and he is very much a contender,” Freidman wrote.
In 1,210 career NHL games, the 55-year-old has gone 637-425-123 (.588 points percentage) with the Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes, and New York Islanders. He is 75-68 (.524 winning percentage) in 143 Stanley Cup Playoff games and took the Predators to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017 and the Flyers to the Final in 2010 after winning the Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006. He also led the Predators to their first Presidents’ Trophy in 2018. During his tenure, the Predators’ 2.63 goals-against per game ranked fifth in the NHL, 2.94 goals-per-game was tied for eighth, and 80.7% penalty-killing percentage was tied for 15th. Though, their 17.8% power-play efficiency under Laviolette was 28th. He has been nominated for the Jack Adams Award twice.
The Predators fired him after a 19-15-7 start to the season, which was good for 11th in the Western Conference on January 6. The team qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the first five years of Laviolette’s tenure.
Capitals’ GM Brian MacLellan told the media after firing Todd Reirden, who failed to get the Capitals past the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in his two seasons as head coach despite leading them to Metropolitan Division titles both years, on August 23 that the team will be looking for an experienced head coach and could be willing to spend money on one. Former head coach Barry Trotz resigned on June 18, 2018, after he and the Capitals were $22.4 million apart in contract negotiations.
Freidman added that Reirden “could be on the radar” of the Florida Panthers, who requested to interview him for a job in 2016 but was denied permission by the Capitals, and the Pittsburgh Penguins as an assistant. Reirden spent five seasons with the Penguins as an assistant coach while the Panthers may replace Mike Kitchen, who did not join them in the Eastern Conference bubble for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Freidman also said, “I’m not sure about his status in Arizona/Florida scenarios, but Washington assistant GM Ross Mahoney had three interviews with New Jersey before the Devils stayed with Tom Fitzgerald.”
By Harrison Brown