It was announced on Monday that the Nashville Predators have relieved head coach Peter Laviolette of his duties. Associate coach Kevin McCarthy met the same fate. As of now, the team has yet to announce who will be manning their bench ahead of Tuesday’s game.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) January 6, 2020
Peter Laviolette Fired
This announcement comes after the Predators lost to the Anaheim Ducks in a shootout on Sunday. It was a close battle but Nashville surely should have had the upper hand. Nevertheless, Anaheim managed to top the Predators 5-4. This marks the team’s fourth loss in their last five games. It also gives them a record of 7-5-3 since December started. Overall, they have set a 19-15-7 record this season. This has placed them firmly in sixth place in the Central Division and four points out of a Wild Card.
With the recent losing skid, though, the Predators clearly saw time for a change. This is despite general manager David Poile’s recent saying that they would not be considering any coaching changes. With this announcement in mind, many are surprised to see Laviolette go. He has served as an NHL head coach consistently since the 2001-02 season, appearing with four different teams. Since his first year, Laviolette has only missed the playoffs twice. He’s also only lost in the first round four times and won the Stanley Cup once. This is a tremendous track record and one that will surely net Laviolette a coaching role in the near future.
This is only the fourth time Poile has fired a head coach, despite the fact that he has served as an NHL GM for over 37 years. Pierre LeBrun mentions that Poile is not one to fire a coach midway through the season. The last time Poile fired a head coach was on April 14, 2014; the day after Nashville’s 2013-14 season came to an end. This firing saw Barry Trotz leave the Predators after 17 years with the team. The Predators missed the playoffs that season, something they haven’t done since.