Capitals And Peter Laviolette Mutually Agree To Part Ways

The Washington Capitals announced Friday evening that the team and head coach Peter Laviolette have mutually agreed to part ways. Laviolette, whose contract expires on June 30, will not return as the Capitals head coach next season. 

“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.”

Laviolette was originally hired to replace former head coach Todd Reirden back in the fall of 2020. There was a perception at the time that “accountability” was lacking and that Laviolette would do a good job of restoring that lack in accountability.

After firing head coach Todd Reirden on August 23, Capitals’ general manager Brian MacLellan told the media that “we need an experienced coach, [one who will] press buttons on some players.” MacLellan thought the sense of accountability within the locker room was lost.

On September 15, 2020, the Capitals announced that Peter Laviolette would be the organization’s 19th head coach in franchise history, signing him to a three-year deal. In the end, MacLellan felt Laviolette was best suited to lead the Capitals forward, but more importantly, reinstate “accountability” within the team.

“Peter has a track record of establishing a culture, and it’s one of his priorities. And part of that culture is getting guys to play the right way and holding them accountable to play the right way. I think it’s a big priority when you talk to him, so I have confidence, because he’s done it in the past,” said MacLellan. “We assume the players [know] that’s a big strength of his moving forward and it’s a big reason why we hired him.”

Laviolette, by most accounts, was well received by the players, the Capitals front office, as well as many fans. He was more than proficient, and with a coach of his pedigree, was the right play following Todd Reirden’s reign. But the Capitals coaching “needs” have changed over the course of Laviolette’s tenure.

While accountability was indeed restored by Laviolette, the needs of the team have changed over the last three seasons. The focus is now on getting younger and using and developing prospects, something that might not be best suited for Laviolette.

Laviolette dealt with a ton adversity during his stint as head coach of the Capitals. A global pandemic and a rash of significant injuries accompanied Laviolette’s tenure in Washington, rendering it anything but typical.


ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals and head coach Peter Laviolette have agreed to mutually part ways, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Laviolette, whose contract expires on June 30, will not return as the Capitals head coach next season.

Laviolette was the 19th head coach in franchise history and led the club to a 115-78-27 record from 2020-23.

“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.”

The Capitals will conduct their final media availability session of the season on Saturday, April 15 at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. Players will address the media throughout the morning after 9:15 a.m. In addition, the Capitals will host a media availability with MacLellan at 12 p.m. All media availabilities will take place outside the Capitals locker room.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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42 Responses to Capitals And Peter Laviolette Mutually Agree To Part Ways

  1. Lance says:

    Best wishes to the Laviolette family. You worked hard. It’s time for a different voice and approach in Caps land.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There is a God!

  3. Greg says:

    That’s too bad! I was excited for his arrival. We will never know what could have happened if they just paid Barry. PL had a lot of extraordinary things happen during his tenure. I would imagine that he saw how much work it’s going to take, and how much $ was tied up in the generic core, and he said Lake Winnipesaukee looks pretty nice!
    Let’s go Spencer!!!

  4. KimRB says:


    Champagne’s on me!

    Last week was an excellent year for champagne!

  5. KimRB says:

    “Hello, Mr Carbery? Please hold for Brian MacLellan.”

    Make it happen! Gotta wait till the Maple Laffs get beat by Tampa though. That shouldn’t take long.

  6. Scottlew73 says:

    Now when’s ownership going to tie the can to the other “end “ of the problem? Coach was a symptom,GM is the tumour!
    Just going have more of the same results when main person running the show is giving coach “hot dog ingredients “ & expecting “prime rib “ results!

    • hockeydruid says:

      I think a lot of the problem for the HC and players stems from knowing that the owner wants and is more interested in getting a record not what they were all taught growing up winning the Cup!!Ovie is a great player but when the owner stresses the record over a rebuild that says a lot to the other players. Any HC is going to have a problem with that.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Good guy, but the right move. Like you mentioned, the team’s needs have changed.

  8. Prevent Defense says:

    Best of luck to Pete L. A class act in every respect

    Now let’s get down to the business of WINNING again!

  9. hockeydruid says:

    Good bye, so long, farewell and don’t let the door hit you on the way out! Bring in someone that you are going to give a 5-7 year contract to rebuild this team. Like someone else said we also need a new GM. Hey Ted have you learned from your mistake with Barry and Todd? Now go out and get a HC who is up and current with the NHL not another retread. And please unlike Batty, pay the man!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Right move.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if Lavi lost the room. Would interested in his side.

    • KimRB says:

      He was actually brought in for accountability. If he lost the room, then pretty much no one could ever have it in the first place.

    • novafyre says:

      I don’t think the Caps got to the exit interviews that they said they would be having. I have felt for a while that Lavi was just not happy, that he might be getting richer but just wasn’t enjoying it. I think he either decided to leave or else didn’t like the conditions placed on the new contract that he was offered. But I do think that the Caps didn’t make the final call. They would have taken more time.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think it’s way simpler. Laviolette is a winner. He felt like he let the team down, having won zero playoff series in DC. GMBM certainly also felt that the team underperformed under PL.

        Neither side is interested in a restart. Contract is over, just shake hands and move on.

        • hockeydruid says:

          I doubt taht any HC wants to play under the condition that what is most important is getting a record not the Cup. Going to be very interesting to see not only who they get to coach this team but how short a contract he wants or gts.

          • Anonymous says:

            That’s a very good point. Either he knows he lost the room, or there was something he didn’t like about the situation

            • Anonymous says:

              The situation being that the team, under his command as HC, failed to become a serious Cup contender, so the team is focusing on Ovechkin now instead?

              Ovechkin brought it all season. He looks tired, so maybe the Ovechkin show wasn’t the best strategy, but it’s not like anyone else would really change anything about the offense. It’s not like there’s another 42 goal scorer just sitting around. What would you do differently?

              • franky619 says:

                I’m not sure the Ovechkin show was a strategy but more the result of the team being so bad. Some nights he played 23-24 minutes to try to come back and win games, he did’nt have much support from the other forwards. They were barely above .500 with Ovy but they were 1-8 without him. This team needs aserious makeover.

            • Anonymous says:

              Judging by what various Caps reporters are writing, it sounds like Lavi still had the support of the player leadership group but his coaching of the younger guys and having Kuzy and Mantha underperform was an issue. I also imagine having the GM trade away five players he heavily leaned on, made a bit of a dent in the relationship.

              • KimRB says:

                Trading those five players was the right thing to do. If the coach can’t see what’s best for the team, short and long term, he needs to go.

  12. Roger says:

    The rest of the coaching staff needs to go too. A “clean” sweep is needed.

    • novafyre says:

      What? Get rid of Blaine and his PP? No! Players would have to learn something new. “Blaine Forsythe is entering his 17th season with Washington and his 14th as an assistant coach. Forsythe is responsible for the Capitals power play and the team’s centers.” How could you after 14 years of the same playbook!

    • Anonymous says:

      Not a chance. Allen should be HC. He is poised during games, a bit chatty but he’s a great educator, and he knows the youth and how to not only train them but extract the most from them.

      If it’s not him, then he’s getting poached, either this off-season or next. Book it.

    • hockeydruid says:

      Allen should stay and all the rest go, go went, go went has gone!!

  13. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!Q

  14. Brant says:

    Not sure if we could pull it off…

    Halpern HC & Carbery PP!

    • Anonymous says:

      I would sign for reverse of that right now.

      • hockeydruid says:

        I agree, Jeff not ready to be a HC in the NHL yet. Also would be a great place to stash Backy and his contract; let him retire but be retained as a coach for his current salary. The same with Oshie. That way you keep knowledge around the team but reduce the salary.

  15. Marky says:

    I read some say the firing is the easier than hiring. Hoping for Carbury, Nelson or another up and comer from a successful team.

    • hockeydruid says:

      I think that it is going to be hard to get a “quality” HC when they all know that what is most important to the owner is getting a record not the Cup!!

  16. Zach A. says:

    maybe god is real

  17. Anonymous says:

    I like Warsoffsky, and forget about his successes along the way within Capitals organization.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile one of the youngsters that couldn’t be trusted by PL scored 21 goals and was plus 13 this year.

  19. horn73 says:

    Druid’s post that no coach wants to coach a team that prioritizes the record over the Cup…first that is not the Capitals goal. Their goal is to win the cup while Ovi has a few years left. Ovi wouldn’t have stayed otherwise. Druid’s idiotic repetitive comments means that Ovi doesn’t want to win the Cup and that the Caps should unload their leading scorer to rebuild. Edmonton has been rebuilding since the 90’s (including 3 straight #1 picks, 4 #1’s since 2007, 3 years with multiple 1st round picks since 2007…how has that turned out), the Sabre’s for 20 plus years, the Devils 11 plus years….you think that is attractive to a coach. The Caps are reloading and that is what will be attractive about the job. Becoming an AHL talented team isn’t attractive to anyone other than a rookie coach desperate for a job – see AZ – also 25 years into a rebuild.

    You and Kim need to move to Hershey and stop thinking of the Caps as the minor league team.

    • hockeydruid says:

      Well what a useless horn you blow! IF in your mighty recollection do you recall the owner saying that there would be NO rebuild until after Ovie left? If you are not going to rebuild then what are you doing; well just wasting time to get a record until he retires and then you can rebuild back into a Cup team. It doesnt matter to Ovie if this team rebuilds or retools as he plays 100% all the time. I;m sure that he would rather have another Cup than to have a record. BUt that is not what the owner wants. Why would you not rebuild a team around Ovie even if for only 3 years to get another Cup? Keeping so many of the underperforming and older players assures that next season will be just about the same. Other teams are younger and faster while we are slow and sluggish and more injury prone. IF you want to win a Cup do you come to Wash? You come for a paycheck and that is why there are so many overpaid underperforming players on this team, that and injuries. Some rebuilds are long, and some quick; a lot depends on the players you have, that you draft and the trades that are made. Eventually every team has to rebuild and some know how to do it others dont. I have a feeling that you are about to see one in Pitt with the whole front office fired.

      The question that faces many Gm and owners is how long do you hang unto a player just because he did something for the team. How long a contract do you give a player to keep him with your team but not until he becomes old, slow and useless? Wash seems to pay players and give long term contracts not realizing that a player deteriorates over time (See Carlson, Backy and Oshie for example). VV had a great year under a different HC and goalie coach and so did Samsonov. So was the goalie issue last year in Washington due to the players or the coaches? Also toss in the inadequate D in front of them in washington compared to what they have in NJ and Toronto.

      I truly believe that the biggest problem in Washington is a salary cap issue and you may want to pay players for what they have done in the past but you cant keep them all and to have 9 players paid over $61 million does not leave much room for high quality players in the other 14 players and $20 mil.

      Now one question: what is the goal of an NHL team suppose to be? And is Ted doing that? Be honest now or is he more concerned about getting a record? I believe that they could field a very competitive team if not for the wasted salaries and still get the record.

    • KimRB says:

      I’ll have a chocolate bar for you, Horny. But you’re content to wallow in mediocrity with an old, slow, vet team. Every team that has won the Stanley Cup, in the salary cap era, does so with players they drafted high, during a rebuild. All you’re doing is cherry picking some instances of teams that took a long time to rebuild, ignoring the ones that had quick turnarounds. And you’re ignoring the soap opera of bankruptcy and changing ownership of Arizona, that affects play on the ice. It’s easier to rebuild with a stable ownership, and front office.

      Chicago drafted Patrick Kane #1 overall in 2007, 3 years later won the first of three Cups
      Colorado drafted Cale Makar 4th overall in 2017, 4 years later won their division, 5 years later won the Cup
      Los Angeles drafted Quinton Byfield #2 overall in 2020, three years later, they’re a 100 point team.

      You oughta try researching things, before you spout off a lame theory. Then you’d know, like I found, that it doesn’t hold water.

      • horn73 says:

        Yes Kim, but when they drafter said players isn’t when their rebuild started, colorado’s started in 06 bascially and Chicago’s started in about 1999 – you are actually helping my point

  20. dwgie26 says:

    Lavi and GMBM are both pros. It should have worked. It didn’t. Time to go in different directions. They both know that.

    The rhetoric of all Ted wants is a record is laughable. His commitment to OV (as well documented) was to remain competitive and compete for the Cup. Yes, Ted wants OV to break the record in a Caps jersey. So do we all. We also want to compete for a cup and I think we will next year. There is a lot to happen between now and then, but I trust good/practmatic decisions will be made.

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