Cross one of the biggest names off the coaching candidate list.
On Tuesday, the Nashville Predators named Peter Laviolette their new head coach and just the second bench boss in franchise history. Laviolette will replace Barry Trotz, who was relieved of his duties last month after 15 seasons in the Music City.
“Having reached the peak as a Stanley Cup Champion, Peter knows the intensity and urgency it will take to help our team reach its ultimate goal,” Preds GM David Poile said in a statement. “He is a great hockey mind who not only has a winning resume, but has done it with an aggressive offensive philosophy while also excelling in helping young players reach their potential.
“We look forward to Peter instilling his culture in Nashville immediately following his duties coaching the United States at the 2014 World Championship.”
Laviolette, 49, won a Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006 and took the Flyers to the ’10 Cup Final, eventually losing to Chicago. He was fired by Philadelphia just three games into this season, replaced by Craig Berube.
Joining Laviolette in Nashville will be his former Flyers assistant Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy had been behind the bench in Philly for five years prior to his dismissal — which coincided with Laviolette’s — and is an ex-NHL defenseman, having captained the Canucks while making the NHL All-Star Game in 1981.
That last tidbit is interesting, because McCarthy will be joining a staff with another ex-NHL blueliner — Phil Housley, who will make up the other part of Laviolette’s staff along with Lane Lambert. Housley and Lambert are the two lone holdovers from the Trotz regime.
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day