Nashville Predators fire coach Peter Laviolette

Nashville Predators fire coach Peter Laviolette
FILE - In this May 7, 2017, file photo, Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette, center left, and associated coach Kevin McCarthy, center right, talk during Game 6 of a second-round NHL hockey playoff series against the St. Louis Blues in Nashville, Tenn. The team announced Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, that both Laviolette and McCarthy have been fired. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville fired Peter Laviolette on Monday after he coached the Predators into the playoffs in each of the previous five seasons.

Assistant coach Kevin McCarthy also was dismissed. The Predators (19-15-7) have dropped four of five heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Boston Bruins. They are 11th in the Western Conference standings with 45 points.

There was no word on a replacement for either coach. General manager David Poile praised their work in a release.

“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,” he said. “Their passion for the game, ability to motivate a team and drive to be the best makes this a difficult decision.”

The 55-year-old Laviolette went 248-143-60 in 5 1/2 seasons with Nashville. The Predators lost to Pittsburgh in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, made it to the second round of the playoffs in 2018 and were eliminated in the first round a year ago.

Nashville signed free-agent forward Matt Duchene to a $56 million, seven-year contract on July 1, but it sputtered through the first half of this season. It hasn’t won more than two straight games since a four-game streak in late October.

This marks the sixth NHL coaching change of the season.

Laviolette was just the second coach in Predators history. Barry Trotz was behind the bench for the organization’s first 15 seasons.

Before coming to Nashville, Laviolette coached the New York Islanders (2001-03), Carolina Hurricanes (2003-09) and Philadelphia Flyers (2009-14). He has 637 wins over 18 years as an NHL coach.

He coached the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup championship in 2006 and reached the Stanley Cup Final with Philadelphia in 2010.


More AP NHL: and