The New York Rangers announced on Tuesday afternoon that they have named former Washington Capitals bench boss Peter Laviolette their next head coach. The team and Laviolette’s agreement is reportedly for three seasons at just under $5 million per year.
“We are thrilled that Peter will be the next Head Coach of the New York Rangers,” said Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury. “With Peter’s extensive experience as a Head Coach in the National Hockey League, as well as the success his teams have had at several levels throughout his career, we are excited about what the future holds with him leading our team.”
“I would like to welcome Peter to the New York Rangers,” said James Dolan, Executive Chairman, Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. “Peter’s impressive resumé, which includes winning a Stanley Cup and advancing to the Final with three different teams, has made him one of the most respected coaches in the league. As we move forward in our goal to consistently contend for the Stanley Cup, I am confident that Peter is the right head coach to lead our team.”
New York and former head coach Gerard Gallant mutually split on May 6 after the team finished 2022-23 third in the Metropolitan Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 47-22-13 record. They earned averages of 3.33 goals-per-game (12th) and 2.63 goals-against per game (fourth) in addition to tallying 24.1% power-play (seventh) and 81.2% penalty-killing (13th) rates.
Despite adding left-wings Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane before the NHL Trade Deadline, New York fell to the New Jersey Devils in seven games during the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Laviolette and Washington mutually agreed to part ways on April 14, a day after they finished the regular season with a 35-37-10 record (tied for 12th in the Eastern Conference) but the team tallied over 350 man-games lost due to injury including center Nicklas Backstrom, right-wings Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie, and defenseman John Carlson for significant portions of it. Captain Alex Ovechkin, defenseman Dmitry Orlov (before he was traded to the Boston Bruins on February 23), and goaltender Darcy Kuemper also missed time due to injury. Washington, who discussed an extension with Laviolette in January, missed the postseason for the first time since 2014.
In 1,430 career regular-season games as an NHL head coach with Washington, the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers, and Nashville Predators, Laviolette’s teams have gone 752-503-150 (.587 points percentage). They are also 78-76 (.506 winning percentage) in 154 postseason outings.
Laviolette led Carolina to their lone championship in 2006 and Philadelphia (2010) and Nashville (2017) to the Stanley Cup Final.
In 2006, Laviolette was named the head coach of the USA Men’s Olympic team, and in 2020, he was named the head coach for the USA during the Men’s World Championships.
With New York hiring Laviolette, there are currently no open coaching jobs in the NHL. Washington replaced Laviolette with former Toronto Maple Leafs assistant Spencer Carbery on May 30.
By Harrison Brown