Laviolette to coach U.S. at Worlds

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USA Hockey has named ex-Flyers and ‘Canes bench boss Peter Laviolette as its head coach for the 2014 World Hockey Championships, to be played in Belarus from May 9-25.

Laviolette, 49, has extensive international experience, having served as an assistant to Dan Bylsma at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi — eight years earlier, Laviolette was the head man for the U.S. at the Winter Games in Torino.

He’ll be assisted by Nashville’s Phil Housley, Buffalo’s Joe Sacco and Don Granato, currently the head coach of the National Team Development Program.

The next few months promise to be interesting for Laviolette, as his name is likely to come up in relation to coaching changes throughout the NHL. Housley’s former head coach with the Preds, Barry Trotz, has already been relieved of his duties and there are rumblings changes could also happen in Vancouver (John Tortorella), Carolina (Kirk Muller) and Toronto (Randy Carlyle).

Laviolette was fired just three games into this season, after the Flyers got off to an 0-3-0 start.