General manager David Poile officially announced Hynes' hiring Tuesday in a statement released by the team:
"John Hynes is a bright young coach and great leader who has a track record of both effectively developing young players and successfully motivating veterans. We love his coaching resume and are confident that he has learned from every stop during his career, and has the best skill set to get the maximum potential out of our team."
Nashville has had a disappointing start to the season with a 19-15-7 record. The team sits in sixth place in the Central Division and is five points behind the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets for the two wild-card spots in the Western Conference.
Laviolette was in his sixth season with the Predators prior to his firing. There wasn't any previous indication Poile was considering making a midseason change.
"I met with [Laviolette] this morning," Poile told The Midday 180 on 104.5 The Zone (h/t NHL.com) on Thursday. "We had a long talk about lots of different situations going forward. I'm not contemplating making any coaching change at this time."
The Predators will be the second team Hynes coaches this season. The New Jersey Devils fired him Dec. 3 after a 9-13-4 start. The 44-year-old went 150-159-45 with one playoff appearance as head coach of the Devils.