Nashville Predators fire head coach Peter Laviolette

Sporting News

Nashville Predators president of hockey operations David Poile announced on Monday that the club has fired head coach Peter Laviolette and associate coach Kevin McCarthy.

"Under the leadership of Peter and Kevin, our organization reached unprecedented heights - from our franchise-altering run to the Stanley Cup Final to a Presidents' Trophy and our first two Central Division titles," Poile said in a release. "Their passion for the game, ability to motivate a team and drive to be the best makes this a difficult decision. 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."

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The Predators originally named Laviolette head coach on May 6, 2014. They made the playoffs in his first five seasons behind the bench and even made a run at the Stanley Cup that ended in the final round against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. This season has been another story; midway through the campaign, Nashville (19-15-7, 45 points) sits four points outside the Western Conference wild card, fighting for room behind fellow playoff hopefuls Winnipeg, Minnesota, Calgary and Edmonton.

A new head coach was not named at the time of Laviolette and McCarthy's firing — both coaches' exits leaves the team with only assistant head coaches Dan Lambert and Dan Muse for now.

Plenty of NHL-experienced head coaches — including Mike Babcock, Peter DeBoer and John Hynes — are out of a job after a flurry of head coach firings in the fall. In the immediate aftermath of Laviolette's dismissal, DeBoer told the Athletic that he has had no contact with the Predators.

Laviolette, 55, guided the team to a 248-143-60 record as head coach. He has won one Stanley Cup (in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes) in his 18-year NHL coaching career.

The Predators are 7-5-3 since Dec. 1 and most recently lost a 5-4 game in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday. They next play the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.

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