Former Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette was named head coach of Team USA for the upcoming world hockey championships in May, announced USA Hockey.
“It’s great to have Peter as our head coach,” said Chris Drury, general manager of the 2020 U.S. men’s national team. “He brings significant international experience, both as a player and a coach, and his passion and desire to win align with our goal of bringing home the gold medal.”
The move comes just seven weeks after the Predators fired Laviolette, who was in his sixth season in Nashville. He guided the Predators to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017, where the team lost in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as five playoff appearances overall, one Presidents’ Trophy (2018) and two Central Division titles (2018, 2019).
The 55-year-old Laviolette, who boasts 637 NHL wins with four teams over 18 seasons, also guided the Carolina Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup championship in 2006 and took the Philadelphia Flyers to the Cup Final four years later. The Flyers lost in six games the Chicago Blackhawks.
The upcoming world championships, set for May 8-24 in Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland, will mark the fourth time that Laviolette has coached Team USA at worlds. He last served as coach in 2014 in Belarus, when the USA lost to Czech Republic in the quarterfinals, and also coached Team USA to a bronze medal in 2004.
His Olympics experience includes coaching the U.S. team to an eighth-place finish at the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy; and as a player, Laviolette was a two-time Olympian, representing the U.S. in 1988 and 1994, when he served as team captain.
—Field Level Media