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Peter Laviolette Fired by Predators After 5-Plus Seasons as Head Coach

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2020

Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette in the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Denver. Nashville won 4-1. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Nashville Predators announced Monday they have fired head coach Peter Laviolette after a 19-15-7 start to the 2019-20 season. 

Associate coach Kevin McCarthy was also relieved of his duties. Nashville did not name someone in an interim role and noted the head coach for Tuesday's game against the Boston Bruins is "to be announced," per Elliotte Friedman.

"Their passion for the game, ability to motivate a team and drive to be the best makes this a difficult decision," general manager David Poile said in a statement. "On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Peter and Kevin for all their contributions to the Nashville Predators over the past five-and-a-half seasons."

Laviolette was in his sixth season with the Predators, leading the squad to the postseason in each of his first five years with the organization. 

The coach led Nashville to the Stanley Cup finals in 2017 and then helped the team win the Presidents' Trophy in 2017-18 with a 117-point season.

However, the team suffered an early exit in the 2019 playoffs and then struggled through the first half of the current season, causing the change. 

John Glennon @glennonsports

Knowing Poile's patience level, I thought he might give Laviolette another 10 games or so. But a move now makes plenty of sense. It's the midpoint of season, new guy has to have a chance to turn things around. No way should this team, currently 11th in West. Conf., miss playoffs. https://t.co/7BVLyxSbfD

With just 45 points in 41 games, the Predators currently sit in sixth place out of seven teams in the Central Division. The four losses in the last five games likely served as the last straw for the front office.

The team still has time to turn things around while sitting just four points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, especially with the talent on the roster, but it will need to improve its level of play.

Meanwhile, Laviolette could get another chance after finding plenty of success over the past two decades. The 55-year-old has led four different organizations, winning 637 of 1,210 games, winning one Stanley Cup championships and three conference titles.  

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