Peter Laviolette will become the second head coach in Nashville Predators history. Two short weeks ago the club fired longtime bench boss Barry Trotz after seventeen years of service. The general consensus is that we’ve not seen the last of Trotz behind an NHL bench.
The new lead man in Nashville has enjoyed a successful NHL career. He coached the Carolina Hurricanes to a 2006 Stanley Cup championship. Laviolette returned to the Cup Final in 2010 behind the bench of the Philadelphia Flyers. His side lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks, but their journey was impressive. The ’10 Flyers were the seven-seed in the East. They upset the Devils in the first-round, miraculously erased a 3-0 series deficit in Round 2 to oust the Bruins, and steamrolled the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Final. They did this without a number one goaltender.
The Preds have missed the playoffs in two straight seasons. Change was needed. It has arrived in the form of an experienced coach with a proven track record.
According to Hockey’s Future the Predators’ prospect pool ranks fourteenth in the NHL. There are good young players in the system, and 18-year-old rookie defenceman, Seth Jones, is a franchise player waiting to happen. The future of the Predators is optimistic.
Peter Laviolette has been handed the keys to the Chevy pick-up. He’ll steer it in the right direction.