Nashville general manager David Poile met with reporters today after naming Peter Laviolette the Predators’ new head coach. Here are some highlights from the presser:
— Poile wanted four things in a new coach:
1. A good person.
2. Someone that brought a “little bit different style of play” compared to longtime predecessor Barry Trotz (translation: more up-tempo, offensive-oriented).
3. Someone with a track record of winning in the regular season and playoffs.
4. Someone that had won a Stanley Cup, which Laviolette did in Carolina (2006).
— The hiring process was sped up after other coaching vacancies sprung up around the league. (Florida, Washington, Vancouver, and Carolina all need new head coaches still.)
— Poile liked that Laviolette’s teams have generally been high-scoring, and he credited the coach for the development of young forwards like Eric Staal, Justin Williams, Matt Cullen, Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Matt Read, and Wayne Simmonds.
— With the Preds’ already-strong goaltending and blue line, plus Laviolette’s more offensive system (that’s also a more “fun way to play”), Poile thinks Nashville can be a “lot better” next season.
— Poile admitted the Preds still need a “big-time forward,” so expect them to take a center or winger with the 11th pick in the upcoming draft.